Your baby this week
35 weeks pregnant

Handle with care

Newborn baby

Newborn babies look pretty fragile. If you’re new to this whole parenting deal, it can be scary to manhandle your baby -- and by manhandle, I mean things like picking him up, changing him, and rocking him.

The good news is that while babies look fragile, they’re really not so breakable. Most babies, barring health issues, are sturdy little creatures. If you support your baby’s head, you’ll be just fine --even if you’re a little shaky and nervous at first.

Baby holding has a fast learning curve. Pretty soon you’ll be tossing that baby over your shoulder like a pro.

Read more: Don’t break the baby!


Get ready now for after

With labor and birth so much on your mind, it might be easy to forget about what the immediate postpartum period will be like. But it's worth being prepared! 

Find out what you need to know here: At the hospital, after baby arrives


Socially acceptable

Did you know that you can apply for your baby’s social security number at the hospital? When you fill out the information for your baby’s birth certificate, you can ask to have a SSN assigned to your baby, and the vital statistics office for your state will forward the request. Within a couple months, your baby will get what is probably his or her first piece of mail: the social security card.

If you wait to sign your baby up, the process is a lot more work: Find out why here!


Not just a snip

An episiotomy is a surgical cut made through the muscle in the perineum, the area between the vagina and the anus. Traditionally, it was believed the procedure helped protect women from tearing and other pelvic floor damage -- but recent studies have shown the exact opposite is true: Women who have episiotomies tear more.

Pregnant

So what are the risks? About one in five women who have the procedure tear into the rectum, and half of these women suffer some degree of bowel incontinence. Talk to your caregiver to find out how often he or she performs this procedure. If you want to avoid it unless medically necessary, make your desires clear -- and find out now what "medically necessary" means to your caregiver.

Find out more about how to avoid an episiotomy and or tearing during birth.


Pop quiz

Which diva reportedly requested McDonald's French fries from her labor and delivery room? (See the answer tomorrow!)