Worry and What will your
excitement about baby be like?
pregnancy is What will the baby look like?
normal. Will she be healthy?
The more you do to get ready for your Will you love her right away?
baby now, the less overwhelming it will be Will he love you?
after he is born. Share your thoughts and
concerns with people close to
It is common in the second trimester for
you. Future moms and dads who
future moms to feel uncomfortable. The
talk to each other about their
baby has grown so much that there’s not
fears and excitement are better
much room left for mom’s own organs. This
able to support each other when
may cause indigestion, vomiting, cramps, backaches, swollen feet, constipation, they become parents.
and trouble sleeping. Future dads often feel these sympathetic discomforts, too!
Partners play a major role in pregnancy.
It is common for partners to feel nervous or left out during pregnancy. Both
parents are preparing for a major new life role and added responsibilities — but
during the pregnancy, the focus is on the mom-to-be. Later on, the focus is on the
You may feel your partner’s focus on her changing body as a rejection of you.
Right now, your partner really needs you. Pregnant women may feel insecure and
vulnerable, making it a perfect time for a partner to be supportive and loving.
It’s important for couples to share their feelings with each other and for partners
to involve themselves as much as possible. This will make for greater family
closeness, even before the baby comes.
Future moms Manage stress by asking for help
can continue and talking to others.
to exercise. Changing hormone levels can
cause future moms to be irrita-
ble, and have mood swings
and crying spells. Women may
feel frustrated because their
growing belly is uncomfort-
able. They may have trouble
events or appointments, and
feel as if they don’t know if
they are coming or going. Here
are some ways to deal with
Manage stress by cutting
down on household chores. You might want to ask friends or relatives
to help around the house, especially with baby chores such as getting
the nursery together or reorganizing rooms.
Do something for yourself. Pamper yourself by getting a new haircut
or sign up for a prenatal yoga class. You need to stay in high spirits
during your pregnancy, so remember to do something special just for
Do you have to stop exercising after you yourself.
are pregnant? The answer is “No” for Talk about it. If you feel overwhelmed or stressed, talk with your part-
most healthy pregnant women. ner about your thoughts and feelings. By talking, you will find ways to
Doctors recommend that pregnant lessen your stress. Talking with a professional counselor might also help.
women without health problems or
pregnancy complications can exercise
for about 30 minutes on most days of Avoid any exercise lying on your fruits, vegetables, and calcium-rich
the week. Check with your doctor to back after the first trimester foods, such as milk, yogurt, and
see what exercise (and how much) because you may put too much cheese. Cut down on fatty foods,
will be best for you. pressure on an important vein that sugar, and salt. The pregnancy and
takes blood to your uterus and breastfeeding food guide at
Exercising can ease headaches, help your brain http://www.mypyramid.gov/ (scroll
sleep, and decrease the risk of high down and select MyPyramid for
In weight training, avoid lifting
blood pressure. Walking, swimming, Moms) can help you plan healthy
weights over your head
dancing, and stationary cycling are meals. Some women find that eating
Always warm up and cool down
good workout ideas for pregnant more small meals throughout the day
when working out
women. When you are working out: is more comfortable than trying to
Include stretching and relaxation
Make sure your workout is eat 3 regular-sized meals a day.
Avoid jerking and bouncing
Staying active is important — and so
is eating healthy foods. Each day, eat
Take breaks and drink plenty of several servings of whole grains,
development in the
Prenatal Month 4
Baby is 4 to 5 inches long
Prenatal Month 6
Weighs 3 to 5 ounces, which is
about the same as a small
Prenatal Month 5 Baby grows a lot this month and
banana can be anywhere from 9-15
Baby is covered in soft down-like Baby is about 8 inches long inches long
hair Weighs 1 pound Weighs 11/2 to 2 pounds
Heartbeat is strong Baby is strong enough for Mom Can open his eyes and suck his
Stomach and rest of digestive to feel a kick thumb
system are growing Heart, lungs, and digestive Baby can have hiccups
Eyes, ears, nose, and mouth look system are growing Brain is growing fast
normal Bones are forming and finger- Eyelashes and sex organs have
Eyebrows and hair are growing nails are growing formed
Future mom’s average weight Future mom’s average weight Future mom’s average weight
gain is 3-4 pounds gain is 3-4 pounds gain is 3-4 pounds
Pregnant moms can expect
to feel the baby move during
the second trimester.
Around the fifth month, you may be able to feel your baby moving
around in your abdomen. These movements may feel like a butterfly is
fluttering in your stomach. Not all babies are equally active. Some may
kick and turn around often, while others are quieter.
Many pregnant women find that their babies move more after they have
eaten. This is due to the increase in glucose in the mother’s and baby’s
Emotional responses to stress and tense situations can also trigger
movement in the baby. Stress causes a surge in adrenaline in your
Learning some ways to relax will help you and your baby. Deep
breathing, talking to someone you trust, walking, and listening to
soothing music are good ways to relax.
Decide whether you will breastfeed or
bottle feed your baby.
Whether you choose breast or bottle, a close bond Bottle Feeding
between parents and baby can develop if you hold and Advantages:
cuddle your baby during feeding. Your baby can thrive Can provide
whichever method you use. adequate
Advantages: if directions are
Human milk is followed
made for human Feeding can be
babies and has the shared with dad and other caregivers
needed nutrients Can see how much formula baby is actually getting
in the proper Baby can be left with others for longer periods of time
amounts than a breastfed baby
against infections, Bottle Feeding Concerns:
allergies, diarrhea Does not have the protection against infection,
Easily digested, few digestive upsets allergies, diarrhea that breast milk has
Convenient, always ready with no bottles to fool with Pressure to finish a bottle may lead to overfeeding
No storage or special preparation needed Not as easily digested; may lead to digestive upsets
Costs less than bottle feeding Bottles and formula must be carefully prepared and
Babies drink only what they need, no overeating refrigerated
Helps mom lose weight Mom and baby may not develop as close a bond if baby
Feeding can be shared with dad and other caregivers if is not held as much during feeding
breast milk is expressed and bottled
Breastfeeding Concerns: La Leche League is a national group that promotes
Will there be enough milk? breastfeeding and assists women who want to breast-
Knowing how to nurse — but this can be easily learned feed their babies. www.lalecheleague.org
Can leave baby for only a short amount of time Hospitals often offer breastfeeding classes, support
Partner can’t share in feeding and may feel left out groups, and consults.
unless expressed breast milk is put in bottles. WIC (Women, Infants, and Children) is a supplemental
food assistance program for pregnant women and
women with babies and young children.
Get things ready for your baby to come home.
Get a safe crib and
your baby’s clothes
Get a crib that meets safety regula-
tions. The Consumer Product Safety
Commission states that cribs should
A firm, tight-fitting mattress so a
baby cannot get trapped between
the mattress and the crib.
No missing, loose, broken or
improperly installed screws,
Newborn baby clothes you will the car until they reach the highest
brackets or other hardware on the
need: weight or height allowed by their car
crib or mattress support.
3-4 undershirts with snaps safety seat’s manufacturer.
No more than 2 3/8 inches (about
2-3 dozen diapers
the width of a soda can) between At a minimum, children should ride
2-3 one piece stretch suits that will
crib slats — so a baby’s body facing the rear of the car until they
be warm enough for your baby to
cannot fit through the slats are at least 1 year of age and weigh at
sleep in (so you don’t have to use
No missing or cracked slats least 20 pounds. There are two types
blankets). It’s important that
No corner posts over 1/16th inch of rear-facing car safety seats:
babies don’t get too warm — so
high (so a baby’s clothing cannot infant-only seats
the one-piece suits should provide
catch). convertible seats
warmth, but not too much
No cutouts in the headboard or
Waterproof pants and diaper pins Car Safety Seat Tips:
foot board (so a baby’s head
(if using cloth diapers) Install the baby’s car seat correctly
cannot get trapped).
or it will not work in case of an
Babies can get stuck, strangle or suf-
Get a car seat and accident. Call the local police or a
focate in cribs that are assembled take a safe ride home childcare resource and referral
wrong, have missing, loose or broken agency to find out where to take
hardware or broken slats. If you buy a
from the hospital. your car to have the car seat
used crib, check to be sure it meets all
the safety standards that new cribs Babies and children should always
require. You only need 3 things in All infants should ride in the back seat sit in the back seat. Many cars
your baby’s crib: your baby, a facing the rear of the car — starting have front air bags that can hurt
mattress, and a fitted sheet for the with their first ride home from the children if they deploy.
mattress. hospital. They should face the rear of
Find quality child care before your baby is born.
If you will be using childcare for your costs, hours, location, and quality. There should be no more than 9
baby, find a high-quality child care Stay involved with your childcare babies in a group with several
provider. Finding childcare now will center by visiting often, asking caregivers.
be less stressful than trying to decide questions, and meeting with your Does at least one of those care-
after your baby is born. Some child’s caregiver. givers stay with this group of
programs have waiting lists. It helps babies for at least a year?
to get your name on the list as early Ask child care providers Do caregivers have a certificate or
as possible. questions. degree in child development, early
Here are questions parents of babies childhood education, or infant
A quality childcare center is a safe and should be asking: care (CDA,AA, BA/BS)?
nurturing place with enough www.unce.unr.edu/publications/files/cy/2008/fs0807.pdf
qualified staff to care for the children
Ask about care routines:
in their center. Child Care Aware Do the caregivers:
provides more information at Is the diapering area cleaned and
Greet each parent and baby disinfected after each use?
warmly; help baby separate by
Are different sinks used for food
talking about parent leaving;
To find a quality childcare provider: preparation and diapering clean-
encourage parents to spend time
Ask for recommendations. Ask up?
with baby and say good-bye
friends and family members about before leaving? Does the feeding area look clean
childcare providers in homes or and sanitary?
Frequently talk with each baby
day care centers. Do caregivers place babies on
about what the baby is doing and
Visit each location. Stay at least listen and respond when babies their backs to sleep? How are the
an hour or more and pay close “talk” to them? youngest babies, who can’t turn
attention to what’s going on. Do over, placed in their cribs?
Interact warmly with babies
the children seem happy and Are there individual cribs for each
during playtime and play with
active? Do the teachers pay atten- baby present with firm, tight
babies as babies play with toys?
tion to the children? Is it clean and fitting mattresses?
inviting? Bring a friend along if Hold and pat babies?
continued next page
you want another opinion. Use pleasant voices, smile
Ask questions. How many frequently, and help babies who
children is each adult caring for? are hurt or upset?
How many children are in each
group? Are you able to visit any Are there enough caregivers
time you like? What is their policy present to meet each baby’s needs
for sick children? with little crying or waiting?
Choose. Consider all the pros and There should be at least one
cons of each location. Think about caregiver for every 3-4 babies.
Child care continued from page 6
Ask about the setting:
Prepare brothers and sisters for
Does the center support breast- the new baby.
If you have other children, prepare When the baby arrives:
Are there some soft rugs and them for the new baby. A new baby Tell your children often that you
other soft areas where children may be a big change for other love them.
can play with supervision? children in your family. To deal with
Allow them to help with the
Do babies who are not crawling or this change:
baby’s care — such as bathing,
walking have a variety of safe Talk to your children about what it dressing, and feeding.
places to play — including open will be like once the new baby
Make special one-on-one time
floor space? arrives.
with your older children when
Are there toys and equipment to Tell your children about your each of them can express their
encourage safe crawling, walking, pregnancy by using books and feelings and thoughts to you.
climbing, pushing, pulling, and ball pictures about how babies grow. Your older children still need
play? Will furniture and toys not You can also show them pictures time for themselves and
tip over when babies are trying to and videos from when they were attention from you.
pull themselves up? first born and tell them what they
Have some big brother or big
Are there low, open shelves where were like as new babies.
sister gifts for your older children
babies can get safe toys? If you have friends with new to make them feel special and
Are toys and equipment in good babies, it might be a good idea to needed.
repair with no sharp edges, visit them.
splinters, or loose small parts? Have your children practice
Are there many kinds of toys and holding a baby using a doll.
activities for babies — like books, Think of
dolls, blocks, rattles, tubs to fill and something
pour out, and toys to push or pull? fun your
Are vinyl or hard page books avail- children
able for babies to get on their can help
Are there comfortable places
for — like
where adults — including nursing
mothers — can sit and hold
Are detergents, cleansers, medi- home
cines or other dangerous items outfit
locked up? for the
Are parents asked to evaluate the baby.
program at least once a year?
Couples keep relationships strong Want to Learn More?
by making time for one another. For more parenting info and updated links, visit
Even though you and your partner are busy getting ready for
If you have questions, contact your local Extension office.
the baby, make time to be together. Setting aside some time
— even small amounts — throughout the day and the week, Every woman and every pregnancy is different. You might
feel many of the physical signs of pregnancy — or you
can be very nourishing for a relationship strained by the might not feel any of them. Pay attention to your body
changes you are both feeling. If you pay attention to this now, and if you have any reason to believe things are not right,
call your doctor right away.
it will be easier to do once the baby comes.
Credits: This newsletter is adapted from Extension Just In
Plan some little dates throughout the day. They can be as short Time Parenting newsletters in California, Delaware, Georgia,
as 5 minutes: Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Tennessee, Nevada, New Hampshire,
New Mexico and Wisconsin.
a morning snuggle
giving each other a foot rub
a sincere, “How was your day?”
Finding ways to have fun and nurture your friendship is impor-
tant. A healthy relationship is the best gift you can give your
child. Parents’ relationship with one another is the child’s
blueprint for her future relationships. Invest in keeping your
relationship strong before and after your baby is born.