If you’re here, it means its nearly time for you to pack your hospital bags.
Its time to gather together all the essentials you’ll need during labour and birth and for after your baby is born. Some people start packing as soon as they find out, others may like to leave it until when they start maternity leave. Just remember you may need to go in unexpectedly, so try to have a bag packed by the time you are about 36 weeks pregnant (earlier for twins)
Hospitals vary in their policies about what you are allowed to bring with you when you have your baby. You may want to take a few items from home, such as your own pillows, to make yourself comfortable or some music for during labour. But be aware that hospitals can be short on space.
If you want, pack two bags: one for labour and the hours immediately after your baby is born, and another for a stay in the post natal ward. It always helps to be prepared.
If you’re driving to hospital, you could leave the second bag in the car. If you have a straightforward birth, you may leave hospital on the same day and not need the second bag at all.
So what to pack? If we’ve missed anything please let us know in the comments!
For after the birth
For the baby
Whilst being pregnant is a joy for most, it can also be scary at times when you have a seed of doubt that something may be wrong with your unborn child. Early Image is the only facility in Melbourne that offers 24/7 around the clock pregnancy scans.
“It was very warming and comforting to have a late night scan when things felt off. We got told by the hospital there would be a 5 hour wait but Early Image helped me out ASAP,” said Montana.
In Australia, up to one in four pregnancies end in miscarriage despite the fact that many families still experience this trauma silently. These statistics can impact some of us more than others and cause undue stress throughout a pregnancy particularly if you have experienced a miscarriage previously.
Early Image provides expecting parents with the opportunity to have a scan 24 hours a day, 7 days a week! Better yet, you don’t even need a doctor’s referral and there aren’t long queues out in the waiting room meaning that we can have you in and out quickly to alleviate your fears and minimise unnecessary stress.
These scans enable us to show you your baby’s heartbeat and movement anytime, day or night even in an early pregnancy.
Often Emergency Departments have long wait period and may even turn you away until the next day if they don’t believe the scan is urgent. Whilst Early Image sonographers are not doctors if they do detect an issue with your baby’s heartbeat or movement they will pass this information along immediately and recommend you attend an Emergency Department immediately.
Aleisha had a similar experience, “When I walked into Early Image I was in a bad place. The 20-week scan I had at 1pm earlier that day did not go to plan. I didn’t see my baby or the heartbeat and was told to just lay back and not to ask any questions. After this I was left sobbing in the car so I decided to I made make a phone call to Early Image and was told I could come in at 3pm that day. After their scan I was so happy, we were having a boy I had seen my baby and his heartbeat! I will be going back to have a 3D scan done there too.”
Next time you are concerned about your baby please feel free to give us a call. We will make ourselves available anytime, any day of the week to provide you with the assurance every expectant mother needs and deserves.
Pregnancy is like a rollercoaster; there are always plenty of ups and downs.
Aside from the miserable side effects like morning sickness, uncomfortable sleepless nights and body pains, there just so happens to be some great things about being pregnant. Shocker, right?
Here are a few things to love about being pregnant!
With a growing bump, you’ve got the perfect excuse for almost anything, even for getting out of the housework. You can say goodbye to the housework and chores with a simple “I don’t feel up to it” – you will no longer have to put the bins out. It’s also the best excuse to give yourself some extra pampering. Say hello to long scented baths and relaxing massages!
For the next nine months you are guaranteed to be getting a lot more attention from those around you. You’ll be taken care of by your family, friends and partner and they will help make this journey go by smoother for you.
Not only will you be given attention from those around you, the outside world will take plenty of notice too. Look forward to plenty of smiles and kind gestures from total strangers. From people holding the door for you, offering their seats to you and carrying heavy things for you – you’ll be feeling very special in no time.
Pregnancy hormones can result in a fabulous head of hair and fingernails during your pregnancy. Many people notice a change in the health of their hair, which makes it stronger and glossier than ever before!
Did we mention cleavage? In the early stages of pregnancy, your breasts tend to grow bigger as blood flow increases, breast tissue changes and milk ducts form. That’s why it’s common for breasts to go up by a cup size or two during pregnancy. For those who were born with smaller boobs, it’s your chance to flaunt them and see how the other half live!
Once the morning sickness subsides and the cravings kick in – you’ll be loving life! Although you do not have to eat for two, you can indulge in your cravings with little guilt or worry!
These are practically a requirement for all pregnant women. You no longer have to feel guilty about sneaking in a few refreshing naps during the daytime!
You’ll never forget those first few moments. From those first little kicks and squirms, a hiccup or seeing them on an ultrasound scan – there will never be a dull moment when it comes to the new life inside of you.
Who doesn’t love shopping? You’ll have plenty of time to help choose some adorable little baby clothes, new furniture and decorate the nursery in time for the arrival of the little one.
The anticipation keeps it exciting. From the beginning to the end, there are plenty of fun and nervous moments. From keeping it a secret, the look of excitement and surprise when you tell your family, finding out the gender, and picking out a name – there are endless joyful moments during a pregnancy.
What did/do you love about being pregnant?
We have all heard a wives tale or two about pregnancy, but there are SO many! How do you know what ones are actually accurate? We did a bit of research and took a closer look at some common myths:
Myth #1 – Pregnant women should avoid exercise
Not true folks! This issue has been rather topical recently with Michelle Bridges in the media. A number of health experts have come out in support of Michelle Bridges and have stated that it is perfectly okay to exercise during pregnancy. It really is a matter of how much. Michelle Bridges is an exceptionally fit person so what may look like a lot for us really isn’t for others. We suggest cutting back to 70% of your normal routine while pregnant. So if you normally jog 10kms there is nothing wrong with a jog, but why not strip it back and not go over 7kms?
Myth #2 – You are eating for two
This is an old one that strangely still gets thrown around. According to Time, carrying a baby actually requires 300 extra calories a day. This means you should be eating for about one and a fifth. So keep the overeating to a minimum – it’s actually better for the baby’s health too. Nutritious foods are the way to go mums-to-be!
Myth #3 – You can’t drink coffee
You CAN! Good news for all the caffeine addicts out there! While it has been deemed as safe for pregnant women to drink coffee it is important to not go overboard. A small cup of coffee a day is usually fine, however it is worth checking this with your own doctor to make sure any underlying health conditions will not be impacted.
What’s the weirdest pregnancy myth you have heard?
Picking what you would like to name your child for the rest of their life is no easy task! A name is a defining part of your identity and generally it’s something that sticks with you your whole life. Names create expectations and judgments.
We understand that it can be an overwhelming process so we have put together a few things you should be considering when naming your child:
While Khaleesi may be hugely popular at the moment due to Game of Thrones what will it mean in 15 – 20 years when your child is entering the adult world? Another thing you need to consider when naming your child after a character is that while that character may be beloved this can change as they are fictional!
This was recently demonstrated with the name Atticus. Atticus has recently gone through another spurge in popularity – with many being named after Harper Lee’s character in the famous novel ‘To Kill a Mockingbird.’ However, in the recent release of ‘Go Set a Watchman’ Atticus was revealed to be a racist. This left a number of people recoiling with one couple even going to the effort of renaming their 14-month-old son! Lesson: Choose wisely.
Understandably it can be hard to know if there is going to be a big surge in the name you choose, but popularity can be a nuisance. I’m speaking from experience here. I was born in 1986 and I’m named Jessica – the number one girls name for that year. This has meant all through my school years I had not one, not two, generally not even three people in my year level with that same name! In fact, I think there may have been around 20 – 30 of us in my year level at High School. It was frustrating! So, how do you avoid naming your baby the latest trending name?
Sites like Baby Name Wizard can help. You simply type in the name you are considering and it will shoot out some stats.
While you may think a cute and quirky spelling of a common name sets your child apart from the rest think about the impact it will have on the rest of their life. Do you want them to have to spell their name every time? That would get pretty annoying after awhile! There is also the chance that they may get picked on for being different. So before you name your bub Emahlie, maybe consider if the original spelling of Emily is really that bad.
You may be a unique, quirky person and that’s fantastic, but it is never okay to call your child Awesome as one recent couple did. I mean seriously, awesome?
Some other silly names people have named their child recently are Majestic, Handsome, Savvy and so on. See more silly names people have called their children here.
While you may have the best intentions think about your child’s future. I’m speaking from experience. I went to school with a girl called Precious. Yep, you heard me correct. As you can imagine her name came with a lot of schoolyard taunts and mockery. Who wants to expose their child to that unnecessarily?
Naming your child should be a fun and enjoyable experience for all parents – choose wisely and with your babies future in mind.
Ultrasound in pregnancy (also known as ‘sonograms’ or ‘scans’) can be performed for a variety of reasons. Medical ultrasounds in pregnancy work on the same principle as sonar (used in oceanography to map the sea bed). The technician uses a hand-held ultrasound probe (or ‘transducer’) to generate and receive high frequency sound waves that cannot be heard by the human ear.
Hundreds of sound waves are emitted from the transducer during each scan. These waves are absorbed and bounced back from human tissues, bones and body fluids (all with different densities) to create black and white ultrasound images that look similar to a photographic negative, with black areas indicating liquid mediums (such as amniotic fluid) and grey or white areas indicating denser materials such as tissues and bones.
The sound frequency of ultrasound is measured in megahertz (or MHz). Frequencies used for pregnancy ultrasounds can range from 1.6 to 10 MHz, but are more commonly between 3 and 7.5 MHz.
Generally the lower the frequency, the further (or deeper) the sound waves can penetrate the body’s tissues. Ultrasound waves that create images for visual examination are intermittently ‘pulsed’ to reduce the heating of the body’s tissues (unlike continuous ultrasound therapies that may be used to treat injured muscles and tissues). ‘Diagnostic ultrasounds’ (that create images) tend to require lower intensities than Doppler ultrasound, used to assess blood flow through the cord and placenta and to listen to the baby’s heartbeat.
Ultrasound does not use radiation (like x-rays) and is seen by many caregivers as a non-invasive way to view the unborn baby, uterus and placenta during pregnancy.
The physical effects and research into the safety of ultrasounds are looked at in Ultrasounds in pregnancy are performed by a qualified Sonographer (technologist) or a Sonologist (specialist doctor). In a hospital environment usually the Sonographer performs the examination and the Sonologist in charge of the department interprets the images and writes up the final report.
There are many different ways ultrasound in pregnancy, for various reasons. We perform the following:
Ultrasound technology is often used to listen to an unborn baby’s heartbeat (after 12 weeks of pregnancy). Caregivers can use a hand-held portable doppler (or ‘sonocaid’) that emits sound waves of about 2 MHz of frequency to detect changes in blood flow through the baby’s heart to produce an audible sound. CTG monitors also use ultrasound to continuously record the baby’s heart rate during pregnancy and labour.
Most ultrasounds are conventional 2D (or two-dimensional) images. 2D ultrasound images are made up of a series of thin image ‘slices’, with only one slice being visible at any one time to create a ‘flat’ looking picture. During the late 1990’s, 3D or ‘three-dimensional’ ultrasounds (also known as ‘ultrasound holographs’) started to become available in some ultrasound centers. However, 3D ultrasound machines are extremely expensive and are not widely accessible at this stage.
3D ultrasounds work by taking thousands of images ‘slices’ in a series (called a ‘volume of echoes’). The volumes are then digitally stored and shaded to produce 3 dimensional images of the baby that look more life-like. 4D (or ‘four-dimensional’ images) just means the images can be seen to move in ‘real time’ so the activity of the baby can be studied.
Most 3D ultrasound machines require the operator to hold the transducer steady, while the internal workings of the transducer move at the correct speed to capture each ‘volume’. Other machines can involve the operator manually moving the transducer over the area to capture the volume. However, this requires a good deal of skill and practice so the transducer is kept perfectly steady and images are obtained at the proper rate and angle.
From a medical perspective, 3D/4D ultrasounds are not essential and generally, all the information your caregiver needs can be obtained through a conventional 2D ultrasound. However, the claimed benefits for using 3D/4D machines can include:
Seeing some parts of the baby more clearly and at any angle. For example, better visualising abnormalities such as a heart defect, cleft lip or neural tube defects such as spina bifida. This may help make better plans for the baby’s treatments and care soon after birth. Sometimes an additional 3D ultrasound will be ordered to have a better look at an abnormality that may have been detected with a routine 2D ultrasound.
It’s become increasingly common to find out the gender of your baby before it’s born. It sure takes the guesswork out of knowing what you need before the baby arrives! But how does a gender scan actually work?
At a gender scan, an ultrasound machine (sonogram) transmits high-frequency sound waves through your uterus. The sound waves bounce off your baby and are translated by a computer into an image on a screen, showing your baby’s position and movements.
The first chance you have for a scan is at around 11-13 weeks. The main purpose of this scan is not to determine gender, but to check the likelihood of your baby having Down Syndrome.
This scan will give you the first glimpse of your baby and if the baby is lying on its back, in a profile position, surrounded by amniotic fluid and with its legs wide open it may be possible to get a result from the gender scan.
It is important to understand that the result of a gender scan at 11-13 weeks is usually no more than an “informed guess” by the sonographer (the person carrying out the scan) as at that age the penis and an enlarged clitoris can look the same. In many cases during this early gender scan the penis can be tucked in behind the bottom, which gives the appearance of a girl.
Most women wait for their second scan, an anomaly scan or baby health check scan as an opportunity for a gender scan. This scan is carried out at around 18-21 weeks.
If you want to know the sex of your baby, you should ask your sonographer during the scan to do a gender scan for you. It is best to ask them at the beginning of the scan so that they are aware that they need to check.
It is important to be aware that it is not possible for your sonographer to be 100% certain about your baby’s sex. For example, if your baby is lying in an awkward position, it may be difficult, or impossible, to tell whether your baby is male or female.
If you can’t wait until your 20 week scan, but are over 16 weeks, call us at Early Image where gender scans are our specialty. Our sonographers will take all the time they need to make sure that baby is in exactly the right position before making any determination.