Parenting and medical professionals answer your most pressing questions
Camilla Lawrence: Lead Women’s Health Physio at SIX Physio advises on getting back to exercise safely after having your baby
How can I avoid back and pelvic pain during my pregnancy?
More than half of pregnant women suffer from pain in their lower back and pelvis. It doesn’t only affect day to day quality of life and sleep, if allowed to persist, it can affect labour options and recovery following delivery.
• Think about your posture – try to stand up tall. As the weight of your bump increases, don’t be tempted to slouch or lean back.
• Avoid standing for long periods of time especially if you are wearing high heels. Sitting down, even for 5-10 minutes every half an hour, will help.
• Walking can be a great form of exercise during pregnancy unless you have pelvic pain. If walking is making your pain worse, slow your pace and take smaller steps.
• Avoid the “waddle”! Swaying from side to side as you walk may seem easier, but it increases the pressure on your back and pelvic joints, increasing your risk of pain.
• Attend a weekly core stability exercise class (antenatal Pilates or yoga is deal) to help keep your back and other joints strong and supple.
• Avoid activities that aggravate your pain. is may sound obvious, but we don’t always listen to what our bodies are trying to tell us.
• Reduce li ing where possible – your back and abdominal muscles are under enough pressure as it is.
• Rest when you can (lying down or supported sitting), particularly during your third trimester when your body is under more strain.
• Do not put up with pain; whilst common during pregnancy, it is not normal to be in pain. Seek prompt treatment from a specialist Women’s Health Physiotherapist.
Heather Morris: Registered General Nurse and State Certified Midwife. She is mum to Freddy, Harry, and Jack.
My little one has just got her first tooth coming through and she’s got nappy rash. Are the two related?
Although there’s no clinical evidence of a link between nappy rash and teething, many parents say they’ve noticed an association between the two. It could be that the extra saliva produced when a baby is teething leads to looser stools and, in turn, a greater chance of nappy rash developing. Others claim that a hormonal imbalance arises during teething, when the stress hormone endocrine is produced, which leads to a fluid imbalance in the gut, causing diarrhea. Whichever camp you find yourself in, it’s always worth trying to prevent nappy rash occurring in the first place. Try to maximise the time your baby spends with no nappy on, so that fresh air can get to her most sensitive skin. You can also try using plain warm water and cotton wool to wipe your baby’s bottom instead of typical wipes, and, finally, try to always use a barrier ointment or spray at each nappy change.
“TRY USING WATER AND COTTON WOOL TO WIPE YOUR BABY’S BOTTOM INSTEAD OF WIPES”
Lauren Peacock: Lauren is a child sleep consultant and founder of Little Sleep Stars. A former tired mama herself, Lauren uses gentle and holistic approaches to help families find their way back to sleep without the process being an ordeal for parent or child.
When will my baby sleep through the night?
The answer to this perennial question depends both upon your definition of “sleeping through the night” as well as your individual child. Some sleep experts class a solid five-hour stretch as a sleep through. For others, it means a little one going a full eleven or twelve hours without a peep. Most babies very quickly start to take one longer block of sleep in a 24-hour period and some achieve five-hours plus within a matter of weeks. By around 12-weeks, it is not uncommon for a little one to be able to sleep between six and eight hours. For a baby who isn’t achieving one longer block of sleep after their first eight weeks, it is worth considering whether there is something such as a tongue-tie or digestive issue causing discomfort. Around baby’s fourth-month, their sleep makes a permanent shift to more organised, but complex, pattern. Thereafter, a child will wake in the night – anywhere between two and five times is biologically very normal. This means that to “sleep through”, a child needs the skills and confidence to return themselves to sleep at each of these inevitable wake ups – whether they are able do this largely depends on how they fall asleep at bedtime. There is no set age at which every child is ready to night-wean – despite outdated rhetoric to the contrary! Parents should be guided by their baby in the knowledge that night feeds throughout the first year are both common and normal.