"Oh my gosh, I get to find out the sex next week!?
We've all seen these posts blasted by pregnant friends on the internet
and I'm sure we can all guess they are getting an ultrasound!
They are all testing and ultrasounds that may be done throughout your pregnancy.
The sonogram is done around 6-8 weeks to get a sometimes more accurate picture of your due date, baby's growth and development, and to ensure their aren't any major red flags.
The anatomy scan is done around 18-22 weeks. This is the most through check your baby will have before being born (pending any issues, obviously). They will check growth, development, ensure parts are working and where they should be. It is also when many people chose to find out the sex of their baby!
This is usually the last ultrasound done and sometimes the only one done.
The biophysical profile is a more intense test, typically done late in pregnancy to check of fetal growth, movement, amniotic fluid levels, placenta separation, and other factors. Being pregnant with multiples, higher maternal age, post dates, and many other things may play a part in your care provider wanting to do this test.
So, where do these tests happen?
Many times your care provider will schedule you to have the ultrasounds done at a later date in the hospital or a referral to a private ultrasound company.
In Lafayette there are also some options for independent ultrasounds if you'd like:
The Matrix Life Center will do a free pregnancy confirmation ultrasound.
Baby Bliss Ultrasound offers many packages for expecting parents who'd like to have a more intimate experience and are offered on an elective basis.
Whether you have just peed on the stick or are 41+2,
there's a chance you will soon be headed in to an ultrasound!
(The information in this blog post is in no way medical advice and is intended for informational use only)
But we aren't here to plug apps,
we're going to go through how you can actually time them with pencil and paper.
It can be a pretty great thing for a wanting to help family member or a partner to do
and feel like they are being super helpful!
The frequency of contractions are timed from start to start.
Start a timer when the contraction starts and keep it going until the next one starts (and restart it). Then record that time in one column.
The duration of a contraction refers to how long the actual contraction lasts.
Timing from the beginning of the contraction to the end of the contraction. You'll simply need to just look at the time since it started when it ends (don't stop the timer). You'll write that time down in another column.
You'll end up with a paper with three columns because you'll also want to write down the actual time periodically, so you know how long they've been going on.
You may have heard of the 5-1-1 rule or the 4-1-1 rule
(many care providers use this to explain when to head into the hospital or birthing facility),
this is basically referring to an average of each of your three columns!
5 or 4 minutes in frequency.
1 minute in duration.
For 1 hour.
Easy peasy, right?
Like we said, most people these days just use an app. They track and create the spreadsheet for you,
with just the push of a finger when the contraction starts and when it ends.
But now you know how to time contractions
and what those apps actually do!
It is no secret that when you have a baby, you're going to lose some sleep.
"Days and nights are mixed up"
"We'll sleep again someday"
"It is like bright eyes at 2am!"
Have you ever googled "sleep deprivation effects"?
Trouble with thinking and concentration.
Mood swings and mood changes.
High blood pressure.
Low sex drive.
And the list goes on...
There was one study done that sited the chance of depression in women with poor sleep quality and quantity was 3.24 times than that of women getting more regular sleep! *
3.24 times greater chance to get depression, just because of lack of good sleep.
So, it is no wonder the rates of postpartum depression
and postpartum mood disorders are so high and rising.
So, what can we do to help this no sleeping norm after a baby?
The answer doesn't come in training babies right off the bat.
While we see absolutely nothing wrong with sleep training, the first few weeks are not quite the times yet!
So what else is there?
This could look like hiring our postpartum doulas for overnights,
maybe even just a few nights a week.
(We can be there even on super short notice!)
And/or a family member or close friend that stays the night and helps out with waking and feedings.
(There is absolutely a way to keep breastfeeding as a priority as well as get some sleep too,
which is sometimes people's biggest concern.)
You need and deserve some care and sleep after your baby comes.
You don't have to do it alone.
We would love to help!
Jessica Anne Dill