Hudson Valley Parent

HVP November 2015

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It's my last trimester. What should I expect? Take a childbirth class T his is a good time to reg- ister for a childbirth class. The program covers every- thing from when to call your doctor once labor has begun to what you can expect once you enter the hospital. Learn what childbirth pain options are available. My patients enjoy getting to know other people who are preg- nant. It's making a connection with people who are going through the same thing you are. Schedule early because the classes are popular and fill up quickly. The programs are offered by the hospital as well as private childbirth educators. Pick someone to be in the labor room with you Make this decision before you are in labor. Many choose their partner, best friend or mom. Or you can have a doula or private birth coach. Whoever you pick, be sure it is someone who is attentive and helpful. They can be as actively involved in the birthing process as they feel comfortable with from offering words of encouragement to giving a massage to ease your muscles. Now who will you tell you are in labor? Will you keep it to yourself until the baby is born so they are not calling and texting while you are in labor? Consider creating a phone tree to tell the news. This means less stress on you. Learn the 511 rule Make sure you know how to get in touch with your doctor when you think you are in labor. Use the 511 rule to determine when it's time to leave for the hospital. You are in labor when the contractions are five minutes apart, they last for a minute, and continue for about an hour. If your water has broken or you think the baby is not moving as much, call your doctor. At this point, your doctor may deter- mine it is not necessary to come to the hospital. Be in the know • You usually go into labor about two weeks after the baby has dropped. People around you will notice that the baby has dropped before you. • 1st trimester sonograms are good gages for a delivery date: 40 weeks is an estimation, and 38 to 42 weeks is average. We prefer babies reach the 39 week mark because we find they do better. • In terms of exercise, if you have been active before your preg- nancy then continue, but discuss this with your provider. • It's okay to have sex unless the placenta lies low in the uterus, partly or completely blocking the cervix — a condition called placenta previa. Car Seats: You can't go home without it Get your child safety seat purchased, checked, and installed four weeks prior to your due date. Both of our affiliated hospitals offer seat checks to ensure the seat is properly installed. During these last months, talk to your doctor about your con- cerns. Remember you are your best advocate. Go to your doctor ap- pointments with a list of prepared questions and feel free to bring someone with you to be your ears. Most of all use this time to pamper yourself. Meredith McDowell, Board Certified OB/GYN, sees patients in HQMP's Rhinebeck and Kingston offices. She delivers at Northern Dutchess Hospital. "Use the 511 rule to determine if you are ready to go to the hospital" Meredith McDowell, Board Certified OB/GYN Health Quest Medical Practice POUGHKEEPSIE FISHKILL RHINEBECK KINGSTON NEW PALTZ

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