This image may show the start of a smile. Your baby will often be smiling inside, sticking his tongue out, and making all sorts of faces. He may also still be experiencing hiccups that may be something that you are now becoming aware of.
It may seem impossible to believe that you should be considering child care before your baby is even born, but it can be useful to think through the options while you have the time. There are two main types of child care: in and out of your home. In the first case, you can have a live-in or live-out nanny or mother's help, an au pair (which may be acceptable if you work from home, for example, and can supervise), or perhaps a family member or friend who is prepared to come to your house to take care of your baby. If you choose outside child care, there are a number of options including day-care centers, relatives or babysitters in their homes, or on-the-job day care. Before you set your heart on one particular type of care, it's a good idea to investigate the costs and the availability in your area. You may want to pay a visit to some of the nurseries or other facilities close to you, just to get a feel for what's available, and establish now what you do and don't want. Secondly, remember that good-quality child-care facilities and babysitters are usually in demand, and, even if you aren't entirely sure when you will be going back to work, it's probably a good idea to put your baby's name (or last name, at least!) down for a few, to give you options when the time comes.
Many dads-to-be are anxious about being with their partners during labor and birth. This is often because they will be witnessing their partner experience one of the most intense things a woman can ever do and they may be unsure of how to help.
There are plenty of ways in which you can support your partner during labor: being aware of her wishes, speaking for her if she is unable to, and repeating what doctors have said if she didn't hear clearly; passing her a drink; rubbing her back; holding a warm cloth to her face; switching music on or off; being encouraging and reassuring her.
Going to prenatal classes can be useful. You will learn more about labor and birth, and how to support your partner physically and emotionally.
Your baby's skeleton began forming at the end of the first trimester, but the majority of your calcium is transferred to the baby from your body in the third trimester. This happens regardless of your calcium intake. If a mother-to-be's diet is low in calcium, it will be taken from the reservoir in her bones, which can affect her bone density.
The recommended amount of calcium in pregnancy is 1000 mg daily. Calcium needs to be accompanied by vitamin D in order to be absorbed by the body.
Dairy products are a rich source of calcium, and some, such as margarine and low-fat spreads, are often fortified with vitamin D. Vegetarian sources of calcium include tofu, leafy green vegetables, dried fruit, seeds, and nuts.
Excerpted from Pregnancy Day by Day.
Copyright © 2008 Dorling Kindersley Limited.
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