Pregnancy Education

We Can Guide You Through Every Stage of Your Pregnancy and Delivery

Pregnancy can seem like an overwhelming experience at first. Almost all at once, you must now adjust your diet and habits in order to care for your child and prepare for a successful delivery. Thankfully, this is not a journey you need to go through alone. Our experienced maternity professionals will act as your guides through pregnancy, helping you learn and adjust to necessary lifestyle changes during this period.

On this page, you can find an overview of some important things to keep in mind during your pregnancy. You can learn more about or receive assistance with any of this subjects by contacting us today.

Pro-Conception Nutrition

If you are planning to have a baby, you will need to make some dietary changes even before you get pregnant. Pregnancy puts increased strain on your body. You can prepare for the changes to your system by stocking up on the appropriate nutrients.

Before your pregnancy, you will want to start developing a diet that includes:

  • Grains, including wheat, rice, oats, and cornmeal. At least half of these should be whole-grains like brown rice and oatmeal.
  • Vegetables, especially dark green, red and orange vegetables. If you buy canned or frozen vegetables, try to find the low-sodium versions that have no added seasonings.
  • Fruits and 100% fruit juices. Fruits can be fresh, canned, frozen, or dried. It doesn’t really matter how you get your fruits, just so long as you have them in your diet.
  • Dairy products are important in a pregnancy diet. Fat-free and high calcium dairy products will be a valuable addition to your diet.
  • Lean, low-fat proteins. Try to vary your proteins with poultry, fish, nuts, seeds, peas, and beans.

Signs of Pregnancy

If you are trying to get pregnant, you are likely already taking pregnancy tests on a regular basis. However, if you are not planning on getting pregnant or do not have access to a pregnancy test, there are a few symptoms you can look out for that may indicate conception has taken place.

Early signs of pregnancy include:

  • Fatigue
  • Food cravings
  • Frequent urination
  • Morning sickness (nausea and vomiting)
  • Dark skin around the nipples
  • Bloating

Keep in mind that these can also be symptoms of unrelated medical conditions. You should always have pregnancy confirmed by a doctor before assuming that it has already taken place.

The First Trimester

In the first stage of your pregnancy, you will receive a comprehensive health assessment which includes an evaluation of your medical history, physical exams, and examinations to check the status of the unborn baby. Most of the first trimester is spent confirming that you and your baby will be in good shape for the delivery and providing you with self-care education so that you can have a more successful labor.

The first trimester last for the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. By the end of this period, your baby will have developed all of their major organs and body systems. During this period, you can expect the following changes in your own body:

  • Breasts become swollen and tender
  • The dark-colored area around the nipples will swell and may develop small, white bumps
  • Veins may become more noticeable around the breasts
  • The uterus exerts more pressure on the bladder, resulting in more frequent urination
  • Mood swings may develop due to surges in hormones
  • You may feel nauseous more often and vomit more frequently
  • Some women experience constipation
  • You may start to experience heartburn and gas more frequently

The early stages are when your unborn baby is most vulnerable. You should avoid alcohol and tobacco for the duration of your pregnancy, but it is especially important during this phase.

Cesarean Section

One thing you will need to decide during your pregnancy is what kind of birth experience you want. A cesarean (C-section) is usually not a doctor’s first recommendation for delivery, but in some cases, it may be the safest option for both mother and baby.

A C-section involves making an incision into the stomach to directly retrieve the baby from the uterus. This may be the best option if:

  • The baby has an abnormal heart rate
  • The baby is at risk and needs to be delivered immediately
  • The mother has vaginal herpes sores
  • Labor would take too great a toll on the mother
  • The placenta is blocking the cervix and would make vaginal birth difficult

C-sections are a very different experience from vaginal births. You will want to talk with your doctor about what to expect during the delivery and post-birth recovery if a C-section might be necessary for your birth.

Maternal Immunization

We strongly encourage pregnant women to receive influenza immunization, better known as the flu shot, to protect themselves and their developing babies. This is the recommendation from physicians who are experts in maternal-fetal medicine, as well as obstetrician/gynecologists, and immunologists. Learn more.

There is much more to learn as you prepare for the birth of your baby. Contact us today to start planning your delivery with a skilled team of maternity professionals.

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