Umbilical Cord Arteries And Veins
The umbilical cord is a tube that connects you to your baby during pregnancy. It has three blood vessels: one vein that carries food and oxygen from the placenta to your baby and two arteries that carry waste from your baby back to the placenta. The artery carrying waste is called the umbilical artery, which runs along the middle of the cord up toward the navel. The other ends in an artery inside the belly near the bladder (the urinary tract). This vein, known as the umbilical vein, runs down into the center of the cord between the bladder and the lower end of the uterus.
During delivery, if your doctor contracts your pelvic muscles so that they are tight around the vagina, then it can cause the cervix to tear open before its full dilatation, allowing the head of your baby’s body to pass through the opening. Your midwife or nurse will use suction to help with this procedure; however, after birth, she may also have to massage the area around the vaginal opening to prevent bleeding. If your baby’s shoulders come out first, then the rest of his body should follow. After he emerges, take care not to touch him until he has had time to finish breathing. Babies who do not breathe right away may need a little bit more time to get their breathing under control.
Your newborn will be placed on your chest for skin-to-skin contact while you continue to breastfeed. Skin-to-skin contact helps regulate baby’s temperature better than any other method, especially when there are multiple babies in the family. You want to hold your baby close and keep her warm. A mother’s womb provides warmth and protection for her unborn child throughout pregnancy. So, once your baby is born, don’t put him down too quickly! Give him plenty of room to catch his breath. When you place your new son or daughter on your chest, make sure his face is supported by your hand. He’ll be able to see what’s going on and feel comfortable knowing that you’re holding him firmly but gently.
After about 20 minutes, let your baby go explore on his own. Don’t worry — he still needs to sleep at least some of the time. Once he awakes, he’ll probably cry, but try feeding him again. Breastfeeding is good because it gives both you and your baby something to concentrate on together. Within four hours, most mothers will start sleeping again themselves. However, if you find yourself tired, just remember that your baby is getting all the nutrients he needs from the milk you produce.
Now that you’ve finished breastfeeding, you can begin taking care of your newborn. In order to cleanse him and disinfect his bottom, you’ll need to remove the diaper, wash his hands and change his clothes. During bathtime, give your baby lots of attention. He’ll enjoy being held upright while you dry and dress him. Bathe him gently and rub his soft new skin with baby oil. Then apply lotion to his tender buttocks to protect them against infection.
As your baby grows, you’ll notice changes in his appearance. His hair will grow longer and thicker, and his fingernails will become harder. These changes occur naturally due to hormonal fluctuations during childhood.
On the next page, we’ll discuss how your newborn develops over the weeks and months ahead.
Once your baby arrives, you’ll notice several changes occurring almost immediately. For instance, your baby’s eyes will slowly open, and his eyelids will move upward. At first, he won’t be able to focus very well, but gradually, his vision will improve. Also, his ears will pop up, and they’ll stay that way for the next few days. As his lungs develop, he’ll start moving around and sucking his thumb. He’ll soon learn to crawl and walk.
At birth, your newborn weighs only 3 pounds (.14 kilograms), but he’ll gain weight rapidly as he gets bigger. Between 2 and 4 weeks, he’ll double his size, and by 6 weeks, he’ll weigh in at 7 pounds (.3 kilograms). By 8 weeks, he’ll reach 10 pounds (.4 kilograms), and by 12 weeks, 14 pounds(.6 kilograms)!
In addition to gaining weight, your baby will experience many physical changes during these early years. His bones will harden and his brain cells will multiply. As he learns new skills, such as walking, talking and eating solid foods, he’ll form important connections in his developing nervous system, including the corpus callosum, which joins the left and right sides of his brain.
These are exciting times for parents, who watch their children grow and mature day by day. Soon, you’ll be able to look forward to seeing your growing infant’s accomplishments, big or small.
To read more about the anatomy and development of infants, visit the links on the following page.
Parents play a crucial role in teaching their young children about proper hygiene and sanitation. They teach kids how to brush their teeth properly, avoid germs and handle cuts and scrapes without infecting others. Parents also teach children how to wash their hands thoroughly and correctly. Make sure you provide examples for your kids, such as washing hands before eating or touching another person’s cut or scrape. Children should know that they shouldn’t share personal items, like nail clippers, razors or toothbrushes. They should practice good personal habits by using seat belts and bike helmets.
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