Pregnancy and Birth Resources
The Bedrest Connection
Being told that you need to stay in bed, even if it is for a short time, can come as a shock. Knowing you may have to stay in bed for weeks or even months may seem impossible. Click here for tips that can help make your stay in bed more manageable.
Exercise during Pregnancy
A few moderate exercises will help you to move, feel better during your pregnancy, and also help to prepare you for labor and delivery. Discuss exercise with your physician prior to beginning a program. More information and resources regarding exercise are available here.
Your baby's safety is a priority at Hendrick Medical Center. Hendrick takes special precautions to be sure your baby is protected. For more information on keeping your baby safe, download our Infant Security Booklet.
Breastfeeding offers an unmatched beginning for your child. In fact, the World Health Organization, the American Academy of Pediatrics and various other widely- recognized health organizations have increased their attention on the importance of exclusive breastfeeding for the first 12 months of life.
Tips for Successful Breastfeeding in the Hospital and Beyond
- Take a breastfeeding class.
Being prepared before your baby is born will increase your likelihood of breastfeeding success. Hendrick Medical Center offers breastfeeding classes once a month. Each class is taught by a Board Certified Lactation Consultant who will cover topics such as how the breast makes milk, latch and positioning, as well as managing common breastfeeding challenges. Refer to the Classes and Events Calendar for further information.
- Get help from a Lactation Consultant.
A Lactation Consultant is a breastfeeding expert who is trained to assist new mothers in learning the art of breastfeeding. In order to best assist the mothers that chose to deliver here, Hendrick Medical Center employees one full time Lactation Consultant. Nursing staff employed at the Birthplace also receive extensive education in breastfeeding.
- Hold your baby skin-to-skin.
Placing your baby directly on your chest immediately following birth will help baby stay calm and warm, promote bonding, maintain blood sugar levels, and give your baby a head start with breastfeeding. Most babies are wide awake for the first hour after birth. This is a perfect time to breastfeed your infant. Ask the nurse or Lactation Consultant to help you. Skin-to-skin contact with your infant has continued benefits throughout infancy.
- Know that your infant will want to feed often.
Her tummy is tiny and breast milk is easy to digest. At first, your body makes small amounts of very special milk called colostrum. It is all your baby needs for the first few days of life. Frequent feeding helps your milk increase in volume or “come in” sooner. The more milk your baby takes, the more milk your body makes!
- Try not to give your baby any supplements including formula, water or sugar water.
If you are having trouble getting your baby to breastfeed, ask for assistance from the nurse or Lactation Consultant. Breastmilk can be expressed by hand or with the use of a pump and given to your infant with a dropper or spoon.
- Nurse on demand.
Healthy newborns should nurse 8-12 times a day. Watch for hunger cues including baby sucking their fist, rooting at the breast, fussing or fidgeting, or crying softly to determine when to feed your baby. Don’t wait until your baby is crying. It is harder to breastfeed a crying baby.
Keep your baby with you in your room as much as possible. When your baby is in your room you have increased opportunity to learn hunger cues, bond with your baby, and have more skin-to-skin time. Read more about skin-to-skin here. (Insert Rooming in with your baby-Texas 10 Step Star Achiever Program)
- Avoid pacifiers.
Ask that your baby not be given a pacifier. Research shows that infants exposed to pacifiers in the early weeks of life are less likely to be breastfeeding exclusively at four weeks. The AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics) recommends that pacifiers be withheld until breastfeeding is established (one month of age).
- If you are separated from your baby begin using a breast pump within 6 hours.
Early pumping can help to establish adequate milk supply. Use the breast pump every 2-3 hrs around the clock until your milk supply comes in. Your nurse or the Lactation Consultant can help you learn how to use the breast pump.
- Get a phone number for support.
You will receive a Breastfeeding Community resource list when discharged from the hospital. You can increase your chance for breastfeeding success by calling when you have questions, need advice, or need support.
For more information, download Your Guide to Breastfeeding from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office on Women's Health.
Calming a Crying Baby
Taking care of a newborn is hard but rewarding work. Follow these tips for calming a crying baby:
- Change the baby's diaper
- Walk with the baby or rock them.
- Rub their back or tummy.
- Check to see if they're hungry.
- Carry them a lot, even when they're not crying.
- Hold a mirror up to them or shake a rattle for them.
- Take them on a car ride.
- Give them a warm bath.
- Take them for a walk in the stroller.
- Give them a pacifier or a teether.
- Put them in a baby swing.
- Wrap them in a warm blanket.
- Put on some soft music or sing to them.
- Turn on a fan or small motor.
- Place your infant in skin-to-skin contact (bare chest to bare chest covering infant with blanket).
- Make sure the baby is not sick, check for a fever.
- Are they teething?
- Take them to the doctor or clinic if needed.
It’s okay to Walk Away
When you are feeling frustrated, angry or upset it’s okay to walk away and take a break. In fact, by doing so you are preventing yourself from losing control and unconsciously shaking your baby.
- Place your baby in a safe place.
- Ask for help from friends/family.
- Take a shower.
- Do something that you enjoy for a few minutes prior to returning to your crying baby.
Never shake a baby. Shaking a baby causes irreversible lifelong disabilities and may lead to death.
The Period of PURPLE Crying® is a program designed to teach parents/caregivers about normal infant crying and the normalcy of feeling frustrated due to the crying. PURPLE is the acronym for Peak of crying, Unexpected, Resists soothing, Pain-like face, Long-lasting, and Evening crying. The program is based on over 30 years of research on crying and its relation as a trigger to shaking. Teaching caregivers about normal crying can lessen their stress and reduce the likelihood that they will shake their infant out of frustration and discouragement. Learn more about The Period of PURPLE Crying here.
Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)
The death of an infant can be a devastating event. The Safe to Sleep campaign, formerly known as Back to Sleep, gives valuable information and tips to reduce the risks of sleep-related infant deaths. Click here to read more about the initiative, which has shown a decrease of more than 50 percent in SIDS-related deaths. Sponsored by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, Safe to Sleep offers more information and videos here.