It's a good idea to prepare your partner in advance, and figure out what may help the proceedings once labor does begin. If you're planning on listening to music during labor, laboring in a tub, or walking around, inform your partner ahead of time what you think you'll expect from him.
Practice some massage strokes, and teach him how to do them (see Sleep Problems). Some women can't bear to be touched during labor, but others find it helpful to have their back, or even just their hands and feet, massaged. You won't really know what works for you until you're in labor but practicing massage now won't harm.
If your partner has been going to prenatal classes with you, he'll be familiar with the breathing and relaxation techniques so practice these together and, if necessary, get advice from your doctor about techniques.
It may be helpful for your partner to speak to male friends or relatives who have recently become fathers. Hearing the experiences of others and learning some do's and don'ts of being a birth partner might be useful.
Whatever their weight, most babies at 40 weeks are approximately the same length.
Ninety-five percent are between 17.7 in (45 cm) and 21.6 in (55 cm) long. The length of newborn babies is remarkably consistent and relates to skeletal growth, whereas birth weight may vary considerably.
It's amazing that even after 40 weeks of pregnancy, when labor begins there is still a scramble to get everything organized as you head off to the hospital. So to avoid any last-minute panic:
Excerpted from Pregnancy Day by Day.
Copyright © 2008 Dorling Kindersley Limited.
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