WEEK 36 – IMPORTANCE OF VITAMIN D & BIRTH PREP WITH PERINEUM MASSAGE
Weekly Baby News
Baby Size: 47.4cm head to toe, 2622gm (2.6kg) approx.
Fun fruit reference is the size of a honeydew melon
Bub can start to migrate further south into you pelvis and can provide some discomfort and strange feelings such as shocks, especially if you sit down too quickly. His/her lungs are almost completely developed, and bub has started bulking up with heaps of fat over the whole body. The pupils can now constrict and dilate from detecting light. And the lanugo starts to fall off and be replaced by vernix (white, creamy substance to help protect the skin).
If you haven’t already started this is the time to kick off the sometimes-tricky perineal massage. Perineal massage encourages elasticity and reduces the instance of tearing and need for a potential episiotomy during labour. The perineum is the area found between the anus and vaginal opening. It is advised to massage the area daily with oil to assist the easier opening for birth and reduce any ongoing perineum pain post-labour.
I recommend using oils such as Jojoba, Rosehip, or Apricot Oil that are all delicate and kind to this area.
Step 1: Empty your bladder and wash your hands.
Step 2: Relax! Prop yourself in a comfortable position, you may like to slightly elevate yourself so you can easily reach the perineum. Ensure you are relaxed and also relaxing your jaw as this will help in labour to ease tension in this area and allow bub to journey through.
Step 3: Apply chosen oil to the area, enough that there is no friction or tension.
Step 4: Insert your fingers or thumbs into your vagina 3-4cms. Apply pressure towards the anus and spread your fingers/ thumbs at the same time, so downwards and outwards, continue for 1-2 minutes. You may feel a slight tingling or burning feeling, which is indicating the beneficial stretching required.
Step 5: Using your thumb make a ‘U’ shape back and forward, again towards the anus, continue for 1-2 minutes
Step 6: Externally stretch the perineum by using fingers or thumbs from both hands on the perineum and stretch away from each other
Step 7: Leave oil to continue to soften the area if comfortable to do so and wash your hands.
Vitamin D: this is a important nutrient to continue to ensure you are holding adequate amounts in this last trimester for the below reasons:
Vitamin D deficiency is linked with increased risk of preeclampsia
Vital for brain development of the baby, deficiency of vitamin D is related to abnormal changes to brain function and structure
Important for calcium metabolism, therefore growth of the baby’s developing bones
Adequate vitamin D levels accumulates in the baby to ensure he/she will have enough for the first 12 weeks after birth
Vitamin D enhances lactation
Levels that we aim from a integrated holistic medicine view is 100 – 120 nmol/L. Conventional medicine is happy with levels higher than 50 nmol/L however research clearly states that these levels are unsatisfactory for optimal health in pregnancy and unable to provide essential amounts to the foetus. To increase your vitamin D levels speak to your naturopath what brand is best recommend to suit your pregnancy, my suggestion is taking 4000IU per day to bring these levels up quickly.
This week brings us closer to the ‘safe’ mark for bub if we were to go into early labour. The chances of the respiratory system not being fully developed has reduced, leaving me with more confidence about having a healthy bub with reduced (to no) medical intervention required if we were to go into labour. I have prescribed myself a herbal formula that helps strengthen the respiratory and immune system to assist this process even further, so I’m sure bub will be ahead of development and nice and strong anyway. Also this week I’ve increased my probiotics to assist my immune and bubs, to help fight off any nasties that are floating around, as I’m definitely not wanting to be catching anything making me sick for labour. However saying this I have been healthy and cold/flu free for my whole pregnancy thankfully. The increased probiotics are also to help boost my good bacteria which will be passed onto bub during labour, research showing to increase bub’s immunity as well as reduce instance of skin conditions, allergies, colic, ear infections, the list goes on. It is nice to be able to implement something so easy to know I’m doing what I can to ensure good health for my baby.
This week I have noticed for the first time some slight pigmentation on my face. It is only very slight and thought it was blemishes that were taking ages to heal but once I looked closer I could see that it was discolouration. I’ve been applying Jojoba oil with a drop of lavender oil however will have to wait until after pregnancy when my hormones settle down to see it hopefully disappear. Practising acceptance is getting easier as I draw closer to the end of pregnancy hehe.
I had another visit with my obstetrician this week, it was the best one yet. Very reassuring and nice and relaxed which suits my husband and I well. The heart rate was 130 bpm so a very chilled bubba – yay! And head still right down in the pelvis which she was able to explain how that can be contributing to what feels like electric shocks/ nerve pain that I have been getting. Due to the bub’s head putting pressure on all the nerves in that region. They aren’t too bad more than delivering weird sensations and discomfort spontaneously. It was nice to have clarification what these ‘shocks’ were coming from so I could loose the stress I had slightly around them wondering what was going on with bub or if they were labour signs.
My mum visited for 2 days this week that has been super helpful, not only in helping getting the house ready from renovations, and washing all the baby stuff but she also helped set up the new medical office at the health program in Noosa that I work for. This was excellent as it has been so very exciting for me with the new office and was great that mum could be here so I could go up and be apart of the excitement. Yes the drive nearly killed me putting my stomach into Braxton hicks from the bumps and vibrations in the road, however totally work driving further than 5kms. Was quite a productive week overall getting new office set up and organised for me to step back from working at the program also got my hair done and had an acupuncture session that helped me decide, from what my body was telling us, that it is soon time to step back from work completely. However just needed a bit longer to get everything sorted… I do recognise I have issues with letting go and stepping back haha, but I’m working on it. Will see what next week brings.
Oh I’ve also started a little mum tradition that Friday’s are pancake breakfast day! So on Friday mornings I meet a friend out for breakfast and enjoy pancakes – of course they are gluten free and no refined sugar, which takes a little more research as to where I can go, however luckily in Coolum there are two great places that can satisfy my healthy pancake ritual. Highly recommend New Earth Café in Birtwill Street = YUM.
Yours in Health
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