The Older siblings and jealousy

If the baby is not the first child in the family, it is a good idea to start preparing the other children for the new baby in advance. The age of the child dictates when to tell about the baby: immediately when the pregnancy has been confirmed, or later when the pregnancy clearly begins to show in the mother’s body, for example. Regardless of the moment, pregnancy will last for a long time from the child’s perspective. However, the child should first hear about the pregnancy from his/her own parents, not from other people. For a first born, having a new baby in the family is a huge experience and can cause envy and jealousy. These feelings will pass sooner if the older sibling is invited to participate in caring for the baby. If the child’s cot or other items are to be handed down to the baby, this should be done well in advance before the baby moves in. When the child asks you a question, try to give a simple and straightforward answer. If the first child is very young, you can say, for ex- ample, that ”Daddy gave mummy a baby seed and now there is a little baby growing in mummy’s tummy. When the baby is ready, he or she will come out through a special opening (different from the ones for pee-pee and poo-poo) and the baby will be

our baby, and mummy and daddy will love you and the baby just as much.”

Older children

For children over 10 years, the idea of a new baby may be very difficult to accept. They might have thought that ”my mum and dad don’t have sex”. The older children might also be uneasy about their status and fear losing their parents to the baby. In such a situation, some children freeze completely while others begin to exhibit problem behaviour. Talk with your children about their feelings, expectations and fears. Sometimes, talking with a friend of the family or a health care professional or social worker can help both the child and the parents.

Sort your priorities

The new baby drains energy from the whole family during pregnancy and especially in the first weeks after birth. Think in advance what is important and what can wait until later. The well-being of the mother is a prerequisite for the well-being and healthy development of the baby. Work, cleaning, guests and travel can wait – the baby cannot. When the parents get enough rest, they will be able to better enjoy and care for the baby. It is recommended that you begin your maternity leave at least a month before the expected date of delivery. Remember, giving birth demands more energy than running a marathon!

Risks at work

The superiors of expectant mothers are responsible for ensuring safe working conditions and methods. (onko taalla myos, tuskin) A pregnant woman is entitled to request being transferred to other jobs if the working environment poses risks such as chemical substances, radiation or infectious diseases. If this is not possible, the mother can apply for special maternity allowance from the xxxxx to begin maternity leave at an earlier date. Pregnant women should not do jobs involving exposure to radiation (e.g. X- rays). They should also avoid physical strain, such as lifting or moving heavy objects. According to current knowledge, working by a computer monitor and using physical therapy equipment do not pose a radiation risk. If your job involves coming into contact with anaesthetic gases, lead, mercury, cytostatic agents, carbon monoxide or carcinogens (cancer-causing substances), consult your occupational health care representative to ensure the safety of your working environment. Pregnant women should also carefully investigate any social risks relating to parental leaves, discuss the statutory rights and benefits with their superiors and have a preliminary discussion about returning to work from maternity leave.

Infectious diseases and vaccinations

If a pregnant woman has never had the common pox diseases or been vaccinated against them, she might become infected when working with children. If you have never had chicken pox, you should be vaccinated against it before becoming pregnant. Avoid contact with people with an active virus. Pregnancy should be taken into account when dividing the daily tasks in, for example, infectious disease departments in hospitals. If you work in the health care sector, you might become infected with hepatitis B or HIV via the blood or excretions of infected patients. In the cleaning business, syringes and needles in waste bags may present a risk. Usually, a biohazard does not exist unless the patient’s blood comes into contact with the worker’s circulation via a wound or a needle prick. Reduce the risk by wearing protective gloves, using disposable instruments and avoiding mouth pipetting in the laboratory. There is a risk of cytomegalovirus infection if you are working in an institution where you come into contact with infant excreta. Pregnant women should be removed from these environments. However, for most infections, it is sufficient to be aware of the risks and to protect yourself adequately