Exercise must be stopped once you find out there is a bun in the oven. Say it isn’t so!
If you have been following a regular exercise program prior to your pregnancy, you should be able to maintain that program to some degree throughout your pregnancy. Exercise does not increase your risk for miscarriage.
If you are just starting an exercise program as a way of improving your health during your pregnancy, you should start very slowly and be careful not to over exert yourself.
Be sure to listen to your body. You know it best. Your body will naturally give you signals that it is time to reduce the level of exercise you are performing. Take frequent breaks, and drink plenty of fluids during exercise. It’s important to stay hydrated.
During the second and third trimesters, avoid exercise that involves lying flat on your back as this decreases blood flow to your womb. You should always include relaxation and stretching before and after your exercise program.
Probably every woman who tells you about her labor experience, tells you a different story. Am I right? Your delivery will be just as unique. Be prepared when your baby’s birthday is right around the corner.
1. Lightening: You can breathe again! This is an indication that the baby has dropped, settling deeper into your pelvis and relieving some of the pressure on your diaphragm, so you are not so short of breath.
2. Bloody show: Loss of mucus plug. Not all women notice this sign.
3. Rupture of membranes: Your water breaks! Only 1 in 10 woman experience a dramatic gush of the amniotic fluid and even then it usually happens at home, often in bed. If your membranes have ruptured and you are leaking amniotic fluid, it will be an odorless fluid.
4. Nesting: Recent spark of energy? For most of your pregnancy you have probably been fighting the urge to take a nap, so you’ll know when you experience this. One day you will wake up feeling full of energy!
5. Effacement: Thinning of the cervix. Usually in the last month the cervix begins to stretch and thin. This process means the lower segment of the uterus is getting ready for delivery. A thin cervix will also allow the cervix to dilate more easily.
6. Dilation: Opening of the cervix. Dilation is the process of the cervix opening in preparation for childbirth. Dilation is measured in centimeters or, less accurately, in “fingers” during an internal (manual) pelvic exam. “Fully dilated” means you’re at 10 centimeters and are ready to give birth.
7. Contractions: When you begin to experience regular uterine contractions, this is the strongest indication that you are in labor. This is a good time to get out your notebook to record the exact time each one begins and how long they last.
8. Loose stools: Loose stools are caused by the release of prostaglandins in early which causes cervical effacement, softening, etc. Prostaglandins also can cause soft stools or diarrhea. Time until labor? Usually only a matter of a day or a few hours.
9. Weight loss: Sometimes your appetite decreases a few days before going into labor. This is thought to be because your body is busy preparing for delivery. It doesn’t naturally trigger your desire to eat something. You may also be suffering from an upset stomach or diarrhea which can also be attributed to weight loss.
10. Slight increase in blood pressure: Your blood pressure may be on the rise. You might feel light-headed or off balance.
Water birth is the process of giving birth in a tub of warm water. Some women choose to labor in the water and get out for delivery. But, other women decide to stay in the water for the delivery as well. The theory behind water birth is that the baby has been in the amniotic sac for 9 months and birthing into a similar environment is gentler for the baby and less stressful for the mother.
It is the belief of midwives, birthing centers and a growing number of obstetricians, that reducing the stress during labor and delivery also reduces fetal complications. It is also less stressful for mom, and often reduces the anxiety of giving birth as a whole. Water birth should always occur under the supervision of a health care provider.
What are the potential benefits of water birth for mom?
- Water is soothing, comforting, relaxing while contractions increase in frequency.
- In the later stages of labor, the water seems to increase mom’s energy.
- The buoyancy lessens her body weight. This allows free movement and new positioning easier than giving birth in a hospital bed.
- Buoyancy promotes more efficient uterine contractions and better blood circulation, resulting in better oxygenation of the uterine muscles, less pain for the mother, and more oxygen for the baby.
- Water seems to alleviate stress-related hormones, allowing the mother’s body to produce endorphins, which are pain-inhibitors.
- Water causes the perineum to become more elastic and relaxed, which reduces the incidence and severity of tearing and the need for an episiotomy and stitches.
- The water provides a sense of privacy, which releases inhibitions, anxiety, and fears.
What are the potential benefits of water birth for baby?
- Provides a similar environment as the amniotic sac.
- Eases the stress of the birth, providing reassurance and security.
When you first discover that you are expecting, one of the first things a mom to be wants to know is the gender of her child. Will it be a precious little boy or a beautiful baby girl?