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Most asked questions

When can my baby start tummy time?

Your baby can start small amounts of tummy time soon after birth. When baby is awake, alert and calm place her on her tummy. With supervision start with a few minutes at a time, two- three times a day.

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How often should I bath my baby?

Bathing baby can be a special time for you to have with your baby. You don’t have to bath baby every day, every 2-3 days is plenty. If your baby enjoys it, bathing daily can be incorporated into an evening routine. You may choose to wash their face, neck, hands and bottom without putting them in the bath – this is called top and tailing and can be handy for a quick wash.

 

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How much weight should I gain during pregnancy?

How much weight you should put on during pregnancy depends on your weight pre-pregnancy. There should also be considerations if you are carrying twins or triplets.

A healthy BMI range is 18.5 - 24.9. If you are within this range you should expect to put on between 11.5 and 16 kilograms.

If you have a low BMI, below 18.5, you should gain  between 12.5 and 18 kilograms.

If you have a high BMI, above 25, you should gain between 7 and 11.5 kilograms.

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Is it safe to take pain relief during pregnancy?

Paracetamol is considered safe to use during pregnancy to treat pain and high temperatures. As with all medications taken during pregnancy- take at the lowest effective dose for the shortest amount of time. If this is not effective to control your pain, you should speak with your health care professional for advice. 

Ibuprofen should not be taken during pregnancy.

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When should I put my baby to sleep?

Following your baby’s cues is important so that she doesn’t get over tired or too hungry- this can make for a really upset and difficult to manage baby. A baby tends to get tired after any activity- feeding, nappy changing or after a bath. Signs that your newborn is tired include clenching their fists, tense or jerky movements, arching backwards, and yawning, becoming grizzly, having trouble focusing and starling easily.

 

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Pregnancy

Should I be doing pelvic floor exercises?

Yes! It is recommended that all women exercise their pelvic floor every day throughout their lives to improve strength and prevent weakness.

The pelvic floor are a group of muscles and ligaments that support the bladder, uterus and bowel. It is important to keep these strong to prevent incontinence (leaking of urine or faeces) and prolapse. 

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Should I be doing perineal massage during pregnancy?

Perineal massage is preparing the vaginal outlet for birth in order to minimise risk of trauma.

Research shows that for women experiencing their first vaginal birth, perineal massage from 35 weeks of pregnancy have a lower risk of serious perineal tearing and episiotomy. 

 

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Can I use a spa when I'm pregnant?

It is advised not to use a heated spa during pregnancy as your core temperature may increase and risk overheating, dehydration and fainting.

Swimming in a pool however can be a great form of exercise as it makes you feel weightless whilst also increasing your circulation, muscle tone, strength and stamina. 

 

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What supplements should I take during pregnancy?

Folic acid should be taken during the first trimester of pregnancy. Folic acid is important in the prevention of neural tube defects such as spina bifida. 

Iodine should be taken the whole way through pregnancy and also when you're breastfeeding as it supports brain and nervous system development.

Your body's iron requirements increase during pregnancy however not all women will need supplementation. Your health care professional will check your iron levels throughout your pregnancy, it is important to eat foods rich in iron throughout pregnancy.

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Can I still get vaccinations when I am pregnant?

The influenza and pertussis (whooping cough) vaccinations are recommended during pregnancy. When you are vaccinated the antibodies cross the placenta to your baby, this means that they are also protected while they are too young to be vaccinated.

The influenza vaccination can be given at any stage during pregnancy. The pertussis vaccination is recommended between 20 and 32 weeks in every pregnancy.

 

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Labour & Birth

What are my pain relief options during labour?

There are many ways of coping with your pain during labour. These can be broken down into three main categories.

Natural, non-medical and medical.

Natural pain relief options include relaxation, active birth, heat and water, touch and massage. 

Non-medical pain relief includes a TENS machine and sterile water injections. 

Medical pain relief options include nitrous oxide- the 'laughing gas', pethidine or morphine injections and epidural. 

It's a good idea to talk to your health care professional to find out what is available at your local birthing unit or hospital and find out if you would like any of these included in your birth plan. 

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What is a mucous plug?

A mucous plug is also known as a show. As a woman's cervix begins to change towards the end of pregnancy- becoming soft and ripe and ready for labour she will often see a show. This is a mix of mucous streaked with blood.

Some women won't see a show until they are in labour and others will see it days or even a week before labour.

 

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When should I go to hospital?

If it’s your first baby, you may feel uncertain about when you should go to the hospital or birth centre. The best thing to do is to call your hospital or birth centre and speak to your doctor or midwife for advice.
But as a general rule - 
1)    If your waters have broken (or you think they may have) call your caregiver. They will ask you a series of questions over the phone and most likely ask you to come in to be checked. They will then be able to provide you with specific guidance about what the next steps are, I.e returning home to await labour or remaining in their care for ongoing monitoring or an induction of labour. 


2)    Call your hospital or birth centre if you have any vaginal bleeding (bright red). Your caregiver will likely ask you to come into the hospital for assessment (to check on yours and your baby/babies If your vaginal blood loss is heavy like a period (soaking a sanitary pad) you will be asked to call an ambulance.  


3)    If you are concerned about your baby/babies movements. Baby’s have often developed a predictable movement pattern by around 28 weeks of pregnancy (sometimes before). The movements that you have come to expect day to day from you baby, form this unique relationship between the two of you. If you are concerned, it is best to communicate this to your caregiver
4)    You are worried about something that can not wait until your next scheduled appointment. 
You’ll probably be advised to head into the hospital/birth centre when your contractions are regular (around 5minutes apart), strong, lasting 45-60 seconds each and have been in this strengthening pattern for an hour or two. If in doubt call your hospital or birth centre midwives, this is what they are here to support you with.  


If you don’t live near your hospital, you may need to come in before you get to this stage. Make sure you know the signs of labour, remembering most labours are different.  Second and subsequent babies often arrive more quickly than the first, so you may need to contact the hospital/birth centre or your doctor or midwife sooner. At your next antenatal appointment ask your caregiver what guidance they would give you specifically, this will help you to begin to consider your options.

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What is a breech birth?

Breech presentation refers to when your baby is positioned bottom or feet first in your uterus. In early pregnancy, babies are often moving around and changing position. But as your pregnancy advances, most babies move to head first (cephalic) position. A small percentage of babies will remain Breech after 37 weeks (<3% of all term pregnancies). If your baby is in the breech position closer to the end of your pregnancy, you will be frequently monitored and an ultrasound scan will confirm the position. Breech is more common in mothers with a in low-lying placenta, multiple pregnancy or in women who have had children prior and therefore a more relaxed uterus. If you get to 36 weeks and are still breech your pregnancy care provider will discuss the options with you. This may include the option of attempting to turn your baby (ECV) into a head first position, planning a caesarian section or waiting for labour. You and your caregiver will need to have very open and honest conversations about what your preferences are, what their comfort level is with supporting a breach vaginal birth, hospital resources and consideration of yours and your baby’s unique circumstances.

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I have an anterior placenta, what does this mean?

An anterior placenta occurs when the placenta grows in the front of the uterine wall. An anterior placenta is not typically a cause for concern. Most of the time, it does not affect the outcome, management or delivery method of a pregnancy.

If an anterior placenta is growing low in the uterus, it could partially or fully cover the cervix. Many times, a low-lying placenta appears to move up and away from the cervix as your uterus grows. But, if it remains low, it can lead to a relatively rare pregnancy complication called placenta previa, which affects about 1 in 200 pregnancies. Placenta previa means the placenta is blocking the baby's way out of the uterus. It can cause bleeding during pregnancy, and it's dangerous during delivery. If the placenta is still low and covering the cervix at the time of delivery, your baby will need to be delivered by c-section. Complications due to an anterior placenta are unlikely. Your Doctor can also answer any questions you may have and help ease your concerns about having an anterior placenta, as well as discuss an individual birth plan with you.

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Cord Blood & Tissue Banking

What is cord tissue?

Cord tissue contains blood vessels supported by tissue called Wharton’s jelly, which is a rich source of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs). The surrounding tissue is also a rich source of other cell types, e.g., endothelial cells, which have different potential uses. MSCs collected from cord tissue are multi-potent, meaning they have the ability to regenerate and differentiate into many different types of cells including cartilage, bone, fat and muscle. This important characteristic means that they could potentially be used to treat more conditions than cord blood alone can treat.

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Why should I store my baby's stem cells?

Cord blood stem cells are more potent than adult stem cells and haven’t had exposure to environmental pollutants, viruses and chemicals that happen over time. There is greater flexibility in genetic matching where only a partial match between the donor and patient may be required. There is also a reduced risk of graft vs host disease and lower incidence of viral transmissions.

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What is cord blood used for?

Worldwide, cord blood has been used in over 40,000 transplants in the treatment of over 80 conditions. In Australia, over 500 cord blood units have been released to treat many conditions here and abroad. It is used for blood cancers, metabolic disorders and immune disorders. These include conditions such as Sickle cell disease, Hodgkin and non-Hodgkin lymphoma and aplastic anaemia.

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Who can use my baby's cord blood?

Your baby’s umbilical cord stem cells are a perfect match for your child, and are more likely to be a match for siblings. The closer the match, the greater the likelihood of the body accepting the cells.

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Can I delay the clamping of the cord and collect cord blood?

A number of Cell Care customers elect to delay clamping of the cord for 30 to 60 seconds prior to collection of their cord blood.

In the first 60 seconds after birth, up to 80% of blood volume is transferred from the placenta to the baby*. This means that up to 60 seconds of delayed cord clamping allows for your baby to receive the majority of cord blood at birth and still achieve sufficient cord blood for long term banking.

Delayed cord clamping does not affect the collection of cord tissue. This is something to consider when selecting your storage options. Over 60% of Cell Care clients elect to store both cord blood and tissue for their differing cell types and therapeutic applications.

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Breastfeeding

Should I be eating lactation cookies?

Lactation cookies are eaten as they are thought to increase breast milk supply. Lactation cookies often contain brewers yeast which is considered a galactagogue. 

Galactagogue= food, herb or medication that may help to increase breastmilk supply. 

It's important to note that here is limited scientific evidence to prove their effectiveness. Another consideration is that mothers can for the most part produce enough milk for their babies by regular feeding and emptying of the breast, if you're concerned about not making enough milk, discuss this with your health care provider and they will be able to help. 

 

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What does colostrum look like?

Colostrum is often yellow in colour which is in part why it is nick named 'liquid gold.' It can also be more of a white colour and tends to be thick in comparison to mature milk.

You will often see it leaking out of the breasts throughout pregnancy.

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What is dream feeding?

Dream feeding is when you feed your baby whilst they are still asleep. It's usually done around 10pm or just before you go to bed, with the thought that by feeding baby at this time they will sleep through the night.

Some parents believe this works whilst others find no difference at all. 

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What shall I wear to make breastfeeding whilst breastfeeding?

When you're breastfeeding wearing tops that zip or button up the middle are really handy as well as loose and stretchy tops. You don't need specific breastfeeding clothes but these are available to buy.

Also, a nursing bra is great as it as a flap or panel that pulls down.

Avoid rompers or jumpsuits, excessive layers and high neck dresses.

 

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Why does my baby wake so often?

A newborn baby sleeps often but wakes a lot. Baby’s sleep is important for brain and physical development, however they need to wake frequently for feeds as their tummy can only hold small amounts of food at a time.

 

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Postnatal

I'm feeling overwhelmed, what should I do?

Having a newborn can be tiring and overwhelming.

Try to get as much sleep as you can, limit visitors so that you don’t feel too overwhelmed. If you have friends and family offering to make food and do chores, take them up on the offer.

It is common that on day 3-5 new mothers may feel teary and overwhelmed and it is due to the hormone levels changing rapidly. These symptoms usually go away after a few days.

If these symptoms don’t go away then talk to your health care professional as they will be able to help and support you.

 

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How do I get my baby to settle?

Before putting your baby to bed have some quiet, calm cuddles. Try to put her to bed whilst she is still awake, but sleepy so that she associates going to sleep with being in bed. It’s normal for babies to grizzle when they’re first put down so try to give them time to settle.

You could pat, stoke or talk quietly to them to help soothe them a little more. Some baby’s need to be rocked or fed to sleep, this is also fine but may mean that you will need to do this when they wake in the night as well.

When your baby wakes in the night try feeding quietly, changing their nappy and settling them back to sleep, avoid too much stimulation.

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How can I start getting my baby into a routine?

A baby isn’t born with a circadian rhythm or body clock- meaning they don’t know when it is day and night. To help your baby get used to this you can keep the curtains open during the day whilst also continuing to keep your everyday noises normal- vacuuming, speaking and showering as you normally would. At night time keep the lights low and quiet, try not to play and talk to your baby while feeding them.

 

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How can I treat my baby's reflux without using medication?

If your baby has reflux it can help to feed them in an upright position and to keep them upright after their feed. Many parents find that putting baby on their shoulder keeps them happier. It can be distressing for parents, but know that for the majority of cases reflux will resolve itself. Current evidence suggests that there is no benefit to propping up a baby’s cot or that using a wedge or a pillow will be helpful.

For more information visit www.reflux.org.au

 

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What should I do if my baby has reflux?

If a baby with reflux is otherwise happy and putting on weight well, this is called ‘simple reflux’. It doesn’t hurt the baby and it usually stops by itself as the baby grows. If your baby is bringing up large amounts of milk after a feed, seems to be in pain after a feed, arches her back after a feed and is fussy, is unhappy between feeds and has problems gaining weight speak to your health care provider for some medical advice.

 

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Baby First Aid & CPR

Which age group do you use the 2 fingers up until vs the palm of your hand?

It is recommended to use 2 fingers when performing CPR on infants under the age of 1 year old.

Use the palm of your hand when performing CPR on a casualty who is over the age 1.

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My child has a minor burn. How should I treat it?

Run cool running water over the burn for 20 minutes. Remove any sticky clothing and jewelry from around the burn area. Monitor child. Remember: any facial burns or burns to the airways, call 000 for an ambulance immediately.

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When should I administer CPR to my infant?
You should commence CPR if your child is unconscious and not breathing (after you have called 000 for an ambulance).
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Can I use a cold wash cloth when my infant has a temperature?

No. It is recommended not to use cold water/washers as this may induce febrile convulsions.

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What should one do in the case of spider bites?

Follow DRSABC. If your child becomes drowsy place them in the recovery position and ensure you monitor their airways and ensure they are breathing regularly.

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