A Healthy Baby 

39 Weeks is Worth the Wait

If your pregnancy is healthy, it is best to stay pregnant for at least 39 weeks. The last three weeks are crucial as important organs in your baby are still developing. In addition, your baby’s brain adds more connections that are important for balance, learning and social functions. Here are some important things to know in the last four weeks:

Week 35

Did you know a baby’s brain weighs just two-thirds of what it does at 39 weeks?

Week 37

Your baby’s brain, lungs and liver are still developing. Babies born at this time are at higher risk for feeding disorders, jaundice and longer hospital stays 

Week 38

Around this time, fetal hormones increase to help maintain blood pressure and blood sugar levels after birth.

Week 39

During this time, the sulci (wrinkles of the brain) are developing, which help coordinate the suck/swallow response. Studies have shown that babies born too soon are more likely to have feeding problems because they have a harder time with sucking, swallowing and breathing.


Breastfeeding

Why breastfeed your baby? Babies receive complete nutrients and antibodies from breast milk. This keeps babies healthy! Babies can digest breast milk more easily than formula, which means less gas and irritability. Your baby will feed on demand. You don’t have to worry about the clock. Your earliest milk, colostrum, contains antibodies to protect your baby. It’s liquid gold! Your breast milk adapts to your baby’s needs. Breastfed babies are hospitalized 10 times less often than formula-fed babies.

Breast milk has been proven to offer protection against

  • Allergies and asthma

  • SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome)

  • Vomiting and diarrhea

  • Chronic constipation

  • Colic and other stomach issues

  • Childhood diabetes and obesity

  • Ear infections and other illnesses

Top five reasons that breastfeeding helps you

  1. Strengthens the bond between you and your baby.

  2. Reduces the risk of breast, ovarian and other forms of cancer.

  3. Can help you burn 500 or more calories per day. Half of the calories are pulled from your fat stores.

  4. Breastfed babies are sick less. That means parents miss less time from work.

  5. Breast milk is free!


Two Years Apart is Baby Smart

It is never too early to be thinking about family planning and birth control after your baby is born. Did you know spacing your pregnancies at least 18 months apart benefits you, your children and your family? By giving your body time to recover between pregnancies, you are reducing these risks


For your body

You are less likely to have high blood pressure and excess protein in your urine after 20 weeks of pregnancy (known as preeclampsia). You are also less likely to have a uterine rupture.


For your baby

You reduce the risk of being born low birthweight, premature birth or dying within the first year. Your baby is more likely to get needed nutrients.  


For your family

It allows enough time to give each baby the attention he/she deserves.
You avoid the stress and exhaustion from juggling two babies.


On Medicaid? You may be eligible for free birth control.

To ensure you have time between births, you should consider what birth control method you are using. Consult with your doctor on the most effective birth control method for you.

If you have full Medicaid coverage for your pregnancy and receive medical care from a Medicaid provider, you automatically are enrolled in the Family Planning Medicaid for Today’s Women Program.

Two months after giving birth, you have your choice of free birth control, including:

  • The pill, patch and vaginal ring

  • The Shot (Depo-Provera)

  • Intrauterine devices (IUDs)

  • Implant (single rod implant)

  • Sterilization (tubes tied or blocked)

If you think you may qualify for free birth control, call 561-625-5180 or 1-855-GET-APPT (438-2778).

When you call, please mention that you recently had a baby and want to enroll in the Medicaid Family Planning Program. Be prepared to give your Medicaid card number.

 
 
A mother breastfeeding her newborn.