Your baby: Week 9

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What's the baby up to? 

Growth points

Say the word

Speech and language development starts in the womb where your unborn baby hears your voice and everyday sounds 
around your home. After birth your baby will recognise your voice and prefer it to any other voice. 
Babies learn language through frequent interaction when you talk to him and read him stories. 
Newborns prefer high-pitched and slower speech. An interesting fact is that most mothers instinctively speak 
this way to their newborns and as they grow older adapt to a more normal speech pattern.

Help your baby’s language growth:

Talk to your baby as much as possible when she's awake. 
Look into her eyes and chat to her about what you are doing, what she is doing, and what is going on in the world
around her. 
Use common, everyday words over and over, and point to objects as you name them. 
Start as early as now to read your baby bedtime stories. Your baby loves to hear your voice since it both soothes
and stimulates her.

Take care of you...

The baby's fine, how are you?

Caring for a new baby is hard, unrelenting work. No matter how well prepared you are or how much you looked forward
to the arrival of your baby, you will find it difficult at times. You will probably experience a wide range of feelings,
from joy and excitement to frustration, resentment, guilt and worry. This is quite normal and you will need help,
support and understanding from the people around you.

Sometimes, however, these unhappy feelings become so intense that you feel overwhelmed and out of control. If this happens, you may be suffering from Post Natal Depression (PND) and you should contact your doctor as soon as possible.

The symptoms to look out for include:

No enjoyment of life or activities 
Feeling guilty 
Not caring about your baby 
Periods of panic or anxiety 
Overly concerned about the health of the baby 
Not sleeping or being unable to go back to sleep 
Feeling constantly miserable and sad 
Feeling lethargic and not wanting to do anything or go anywhere 
Extreme mood swings from tearful to angry to remorseful 
Extreme irritability with your baby

... and think about

Is that mark permanent?

There are a variety of birthmarks, some small and insignificant while others are very visible. These skin lesions
are either vascular (from blood vessels) or pigmented. Vascular birthmarks occur when blood vessels overgrow and 
produce a raised or flat red, purple or blue mark.

Examples are:

Port wine stain – a dark red/purple patch which can be small or large and appear anywhere on the body. This often
expands and get darker as the child gets older. 
Stork bite – red, mottled spots usually on the back of the neck, if they are on the forehead or eyelids they are
known as angel kisses. They usually fade within 6 months. 
A pigmented birthmark occurs through a skin abnormality that produces melanin. 

These include: 
Mongolian blue spot – a pale blue/black patch resembling a bruise that is found on the lower back or on the shoulder.
They usually disappear with time. 
Café-au-lait spot – a brown patch that can be found anywhere on the body. They are usually permanent and could expand. 
Moles – can be flat, raised or hairy and found anywhere on the body.

If a mark is in an obvious place or otherwise worries you, talk to your doctor about it at your baby’s next check-up. 
It may be removable at a later stage, or be nothing to worry about.  
Go back to the complete list of Baby week-by-week updates.

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