Pregnancy
32 weeks and 6 days pregnant

This image may show the start of a smile. Your baby will often be smiling, sticking his tongue out, and pulling all sorts of faces. He may also still be experiencing hiccups, which may be something that you are now becoming aware of.

The days and nights fly by with a newborn, so it’s a good idea to start thinking about childcare well before you need it.

It may seem impossible to believe that you should be considering childcare before your baby is even born, but it can be useful to think through the options while you have the time. There are two main types of childcare: in and out of your home. In the first case, you can have a live-in or live-out nanny or mother’s help, an au pair (which may be acceptable if you work from home, for example, and can supervise), or perhaps a family member or friend who is prepared to come to your house to look after your baby. If you choose outside childcare, there are a number of options including nurseries, daycare centres, workplace crèches, childminders, and even relatives in their own homes. Before you set your heart on one particular type of care, it’s a good idea to investigate the costs and the availability in your area. You may wish to pay a visit to some of the nurseries or other facilities near to you, just to get a feel for what’s on offer, and establish now what you do and don’t want. Secondly, remember that good-quality childcare facilities and carers are usually in demand, and, even if you aren’t entirely sure when you will be going back to work, it’s probably a good idea to put your baby’s name (or surname, at least!) down for a few, to give you options when the time comes.

Many dads-to-be are anxious about being with their partners during labour and birth. This is often because they will be witnessing their partner experience one of the most intense things a woman can ever do and they may be unsure of how to help.

There are plenty of ways in which you can support your partner during labour: being aware of her wishes, speaking for her if she is unable to, and repeating what midwives and doctors have said if she didn’t hear clearly; passing her a drink; rubbing her back; holding a flannel to her face; switching music on or off; being encouraging and reassuring her.

Attending antenatal classes can be useful. You will learn more about labour and birth, and how to support your partner physically and emotionally.

Your baby’s skeleton began forming at the end of the first trimester, but the majority of your calcium is transferred to the baby from your body in the third trimester. This happens regardless of your calcium intake. If a mother-to-be’s diet is low in calcium, it will be taken from the reservoir in her bones, which can affect her bone density.

The recommended amount of calcium in pregnancy is 800mg daily. Calcium needs to be accompanied by vitamin D in order to be absorbed by the body.

Dairy products are a rich source of calcium, and some, such as margarine and low-fat spreads, are often fortified with vitamin D. Vegetarian sources of calcium include tofu, leafy green vegetables, dried fruit, seeds, and nuts.

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