What to Expect during Pregnancy and Childbirth

One of the most miraculous events that many women will experience in their lifetimes is that of pregnancy and childbirth. The only thing more amazing that nurturing and bringing into the world a new life, is the incredible love and protectiveness that a mother feels for their child, even before birth.

Even though pregnancy and childbirth is one of the most wonderful things a woman will ever experience, it can still be trying at times, especially if you are expecting  your first baby. The experience is a lot less unsettling if you know what to expect in each phase of your pregnancy and the final step of giving birth.

Though this information is meant to give you a general idea of what to expect during pregnancy and childbirth, it is not meant as a substitute for getting quality prenatal care from your physician. It is also good to keep in mind that not all women or pregnancies are the same and if you have concerns or questions the best person to provide you with answers, is your doctor.

The First Trimester

The very first thing you should do if you suspect that you are pregnant or have had it confirmed is to seek prenatal care from a licensed physician or midwife. With that aside, during your first trimester you can expect  your body to begin to go through several changes. Your body and hormones are changing to accommodate the new life within you and you will soon be feeling the affects.

It is very common during the first trimester to feel especially fatigued. Don't fight it, get as much rest as you can, you will need it in the coming months.

Frequent urination is another sign of early pregnancy. This can be very bothersome but rest assured that this often lets up in the second trimester only to return during the last part of the third trimester, but for different reasons.

Morning sickness is another common symptom of early pregnancy, though the name is misleading. This nausea can occur at any time of the day or night, and can last from a few moments to most of the day. If your morning sickness becomes severe, or too uncomfortable, talk to your doctor about ways to alleviate the nausea.

The Second Trimester

The second trimester is often the most pleasant throughout the pregnancy. The fatigue and morning sickness have likely disappeared and in its place is often a sense of well being. It is important to drink plenty of water and get moderate exercise that has been approved by your doctor.

Heartburn or indigestion will sometimes begin in the second trimester. Eating smaller and more frequent meals may help reduce this problem, if this doesn't work, talk to your doctor about medications and what he approves of.

The Third Trimester

During the third trimester the discomfort sets in. Leg cramps, backaches among many additional aches and pains. The baby is getting bigger and gaining weight; this will likely cause pressure on your bladder resulting in the frequent urination problem again.

By the third trimester the increased burden is starting to take its toll, but don't worry just keep in mind that your little bundle of joy will be making his entrance into the world soon.

False labor, or Braxton Hicks will make their appearance during the last months. This is your body's way of preparing for the birth of your child. To help relieve these irritating little pains change your activity if the pains should start and drink plenty of water. Never second guess the professionals, if you are unsure rather you are experiencing real labor or false labor, call your doctor or go to labor and delivery.

Preparing For Your Child's Birth

A few weeks before your child is due, it is a good idea to pre-register with your chosen hospital or birthing center. Ask your doctor at what point he wishes you to report to the hospital. Often they will want you to go to the hospital once your contractions or five minutes apart, or if there are any signs of your water breaking or bleeding. Discuss this with your doctor to be sure what his preferences are.

Pack  your hospital bag, and don't forget to include an outfit for your baby. Bring along all the comforts that you will need, books, slippers, etc.

Discuss the birthing routine with your doctor ahead of time. Let him know what you want for pain relief. Your doctor will make certain that you don't go into labor blind, he will most likely inform you of what to expect.

Make all your arrangements ahead of time. Childcare, and how you will get to the hospital if your husband is unavailable as well as how to contact him if he is not at home. This may all seem very basic but easy to make a mess out of during a stressful situation, if you are not prepared.

Sit back and wait for your baby to announce his imminent arrival. It will come soon and often unexpectedly.

Information is for educational and informational purposes only and is not be interpreted as financial or legal advice. This does not represent a recommendation to buy, sell, or hold any security. Please consult your financial advisor.