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There are lots of books for expecting and new parents—but this one is something special. Carole Kramer Arsenault has devoted her career to infant and pregnancy care, and worked for many years as a labor and delivery nurse, including at Boston’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital. She went on to found Boston Baby Nurses, where her team of nurses has helped hundreds of first-time parents adjust to their new role. Now, The Baby Nurse Bible brings Arsenault’s expert guidance to new parents everywhere. Packed with ...
There are lots of books for expecting and new parents—but this one is something special. Carole Kramer Arsenault has devoted her career to infant and pregnancy care, and worked for many years as a labor and delivery nurse, including at Boston’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital. She went on to found Boston Baby Nurses, where her team of nurses has helped hundreds of first-time parents adjust to their new role. Now, The Baby Nurse Bible brings Arsenault’s expert guidance to new parents everywhere. Packed with information parents need for the first trimester of pregnancy through baby’s first three months, it offers:
Chapter 1—Preparing for Your Baby’s Arrival
Congratulations—you’re expecting! So now what? While the period of nine months may seem like an eternity, it provides much-needed time to plan and prepare for life with a new baby, because before you know it, you’ll be fully immersed in parenthood! The idea of preparing for a newborn can be overwhelming, but some organization up front can help you feel much more in control. I will give you the inside scoop (like which baby items you can do without!) both from my own experience with three newborns and from the thousands of new parents I have worked with over the years. And don’t worry if you have a zillion questions, from what type of diapers you should use on your baby to car seat selection and sleep safety—EVERY parent has these questions, (see box 1.1.) whether they admit it or not! This chapter will help you get everything in order for your little arrival, breaking down a few key areas you’ll want to focus on: Childbirth and Prenatal Classes, Choosing a Pediatrician, Planning The Nursery and Preparing for Your Baby’s Birth. And because the birthing process is such an important part of this time in your life, we’ll begin with your options for childbirth education.
Frequently Asked Question from Expecting Parents:
When it comes to this new, exciting venture in your life (having a baby!) the more you learn, the more confident you will be during labor and when you bring your newborn home. Childbirth classes will teach you about the many aspects of labor and birth, what to expect from it and how to prepare your body and mind, while prenatal classes will educate you about baby care including health, feeding and CPR. Each class tends to focus on varying topics, however, and with so many options available, it is important to know how to choose the right classes for you. Start by asking your provider for recommendations and a list of classes available Also, be sure to do some online research of additional classes in your area, because your hospital is likely not your only resource. Local childbirth educators may offer independent and private classes, and maternity centers may run workshops as well.
Discuss the class options with your provider and prioritize the birth and baby care areas that you and your partner would like particular guidance in. If you are very curious about, or are planning an unmedicated childbirth, for example, then you may prefer a class that spends more time on non-medical comfort measures. However, if you are certain that you want to have an epidural for your labor, you may want to enroll in a more general birth education class, as these may vary in price and duration.
Unmedicated birthing courses usually take place over the course of several weeks and meet for a few hours each week. In addition to a thorough view of unmedicated birthing, these classes will provide general birth education and an opportunity to experience a variety of relaxation and breathing techniques. These courses are particularly valuable because relaxation can help your labor to progress more quickly and can reduce stress, fear and pain during labor.
Here a few of the many different classes and methodologies you may be able to choose from:
While the techniques and philosophies you will learn in these classes have similarities, each method is different; so it is important to do some research to be sure you chose the class that best aligns with you and your goals.
If you are limited by time or budget, and you would prefer to take a more general childbirth class or a specific one on breastfeeding, there are plenty of options for you. One and two day courses are increasingly popular options in childbirth preparation and are often more convenient for working couples. The classes are usually held on the weekends and address all aspects of labor and delivery. The content is generally more informational and less hands-on, and techniques for relaxation and breathing may not be covered as in-depth as they would be in a longer series. Be sure to check the class outline before registration to find out exactly what will be covered. Because these classes are a condensed format and may last as long as eight hours, be sure to wear comfortable clothing, bring nutritious snacks, and take notes to keep track of specific details you want to remember.
If you have previously given birth, remember that your second or third delivery will likely be very different. Perhaps your first labor was long and you chose an epidural, and this time you would like to attempt an unmedicated birth. You might have had a vaginal delivery before but require a c-section the second time around. If you will be delivering at a new hospital or birth center, it might be nice to familiarize yourself with the new facility. Look into local refresher classes, as they offer a good opportunity for you to review aspects of labor you may not recall and will update you on changes that may have occurred in medical procedures and newborn care since your last birth. In addition, you will have a chance to ask questions about your prior child birth experience and even learn new techniques for managing labor.
Foreword William Camann, MD ix
Part I Getting Ready 1
1 Preparing for Your Baby's Arrival 3
2 Keeping Your Baby Safe 36
3 Making Healthy and Green Choices for Your Family 51
Part II Labor, Delivery and the Postpartum Period 75
4 The Pregnancy Homestretch 77
5 Labor and Birth 102
6 From Birth to Parenthood 137
7 Your Baby's Condition and Postpartum Hospital Procedures 149
Part III Breastfeeding Your Baby 167
8 Bring Your Lactation Nurse Home 170
Part IV The Fourth Trimester 203
9 Your Baby's First Month: A Time for Learning 205
10 Your Baby's Second Month: Getting the Hang of It 247
11 Your Baby's Third Month: The Newborn Homestretch 281
12 From Newborn to Toddler: Bring on the Milestones! 311
About the Author 334