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Your Pregnancy

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  • Your Pregnancy 1 of 32

    1: Know that the end is near

    Your Pregnancy: Month 8: Know that the end is near The last two months of pregnancy can be rough (the baby will come out). As Nora Ephron said: “If pregnancy were a book, they’d cut the last two chapters.”

    You may find yourself bored during pregnancy

  • Your Pregnancy 2 of 32

    2: A childbirth class may come in handy

    Your Pregnancy: Month 8: A childbirth class may come in handy Take a childbirth education class with your partner; if you are hoping for a non-medicated birth, consider a class outside the hospital where you will learn more about non-medicated pain relief.

    Decoding childbirth education classes

  • Your Pregnancy 3 of 32

    3: Take your partner to class with you

    Your Pregnancy: Month 8: Take your partner to class with you Childbirth and newborn care classes can be particularly important for partners who may feel a little out of the loop or intimidated by all that's about to happen.

    Do men only go to birthing class to make wives happy?

  • Your Pregnancy 4 of 32

    4: Find out all you can about where you'll deliver

    Your Pregnancy: Month 8: Find out all you can about where you'll deliver Tour the hospital or birth center and ask lots of questions like: Can I move around in labor and while pushing? Can the baby “room in” with me?

    How to choose where you’ll give birth

  • Your Pregnancy 5 of 32

    5: Ask about the C-section rate

    Your Pregnancy: Month 8: Ask about the C-section rate The World Health Organization recommends a C-section rate of 10-15%. The U.S. rate is over 30%. Ask your care provider for his or her C-section rate; if you want to avoid a C-section, the rate should be closer to 10-15% than 30%.

    10 things you should know about C-sections

  • Your Pregnancy 6 of 32

    6: C-sections aren't always necessary

    Your Pregnancy: Month 8: C-sections aren't always necessary As a culture we’ve become increasingly comfortable with the idea of surgery and can forget that C-sections are a major abdominal surgery involving risks and recovery pain. They can be life-saving in some cases, but preventable in others.

    “I’m not sorry I had a C-section”

  • Your Pregnancy 7 of 32

    7: There are many ways to give birth

    Your Pregnancy: Month 8: There are many ways to give birth “Hypnobirthing” is a kind of childbirth education that focuses on reframing birth so that it feels a lot less scary. The self-hypnosis can help reduce both anxiety and pain in labor.

    Why this mom doubts hypnobirthing works

  • Your Pregnancy 8 of 32

    8: Episiotomies are not always recommended

    Your Pregnancy: Month 8: Episiotomies are not always recommended Though they used to be done routinely, episiotomies are not recommended unless there’s a medical reason. Ask your provider how often he/she performs them. The answer should be something like, “very infrequently.”

    What Consumer Reports had to say about episiotomies

  • Your Pregnancy 9 of 32

    9: Do what's right for you

    Your Pregnancy: Month 8: Do what's right for you If you are catching grief for how you’re planning your birth (at home, in a hospital, etc.) remember: People can feel strongly about what feels right for them. What matters most is that you do what feels right to you.

    10 home birth lessons for the hospital

  • Your Pregnancy 10 of 32

    10: Write a birth plan

    Your Pregnancy: Month 8: Write a birth plan Think about what's important to you when it comes to birth and convey this to your care provider(s) in person. You can write a thorough birth plan to help you (and your partner) work through the choices you may have but consider writing a very short one — maybe just a list of 2 or 3 priorities — to give to the hospital staff/your care provider.

    How to write an effective birth plan

  • Your Pregnancy 11 of 32

    11: Try to include your partner as much as possible

    Your Pregnancy: Month 8: Try to include your partner as much as possible The “Bradley Method” of childbirth education focuses on partner-supported birth. Classes include lots of information about how labor works as well as many techniques for supporting a woman in labor.

    Why this hospital rejected the Bradley Method

  • Your Pregnancy 12 of 32

    12: Lamaze is more than just breathing

    Your Pregnancy: Month 8: Lamaze is more than just breathing Lamaze classes are much more these days than just breathing techniques. The focus is on supporting “natural” or non-medicated birth through a wide variety of coping techniques.

    Learn more about the lamaze philosophy

  • Your Pregnancy 13 of 32

    13: Relaxation techniques will work during labor too

    Your Pregnancy: Month 8: Relaxation techniques will work during labor too Relaxation techniques — such as deep breathing and visualization — can help with third-trimester insomnia. Also, if you practice them now, they might help in labor, too.

    Ask your labor partner to help you with relaxation techniques

  • Your Pregnancy 14 of 32

    14: Baby is getting into position

    Your Pregnancy: Month 8: Baby is getting into position Most babies tend to get into a head-down position by around 32-34 weeks. If your baby is upright (breech) or horizontal (traverse) talk to your caregiver about turning the baby or visit spinningbabies.com.

    What position is best?

  • Your Pregnancy 15 of 32

    15: You will still pee a lot

    Your Pregnancy: Month 8: You will still pee a lot In first pregnancies, the baby’s head will “drop” down to the pelvis in preparation for birth about 2-4 weeks before labor. Increased pressure on the bladder means more peeing, but your stomach and lungs will have more room.

    4 more not-so-great things about being pregnant

  • Your Pregnancy 16 of 32

    16: Your boobs are still changing

    Your Pregnancy: Month 8: Your boobs are still changing Most women find they go up two cup sizes after the milk comes in. Still, it’s hard to predict what size you’ll be. One option: buy a stretchy, flexible bra for now and breastfeeding bras a couple of weeks in.

    The best nursing and maternity bras

  • Your Pregnancy 17 of 32

    17: Swelling can cause sagging

    Your Pregnancy: Month 8: Swelling can cause sagging The idea that breastfeeding causes saggy boobs is a myth. It’s actually the 40 weeks of swelling during pregnancy that can stretch the skin and cause any eventual sagginess.

    More on why your boobs really sag

  • Your Pregnancy 18 of 32

    18: Get in those last pregnancy pics

    Your Pregnancy: Month 8: Get in those last pregnancy pics Even if you haven’t been documenting pregnancy so far, these last months are a good time to get out the camera. Consider some fun pictures, too. Maybe dress up? Or pose nude?

    Try taking photos in the nude

  • Your Pregnancy 19 of 32

    19: It's okay to feel removed from the non-pregnant

    Your Pregnancy: Month 8: It's okay to feel removed from the non-pregnant Women at this stage are often very focused on preparing for the birth and the baby. You may feel some understandable distance from the non-pregnant world. But it’s appropriate to be where you are; you’ll get back to other priorities soon enough.

    How to find mom friends

  • Your Pregnancy 20 of 32

    20: Massage is good for you

    Your Pregnancy: Month 8: Massage is good for you A nightly foot massage from someone you love is good for your circulation, your aches and pains, your mood, and your relationship.

    How to get your partner to massage your feet

  • Your Pregnancy 21 of 32

    21: Surround yourself with support

    Your Pregnancy: Month 8: Surround yourself with support Toward the end of pregnancy, surround yourself with people, books, websites, and advice that make you feel confident and supported, not judged.

    One tip for having a healthy pregnancy

  • Your Pregnancy 22 of 32

    22: It's not about the birth, it's about the experience

    Your Pregnancy: Month 8: It's not about the birth, it's about the experience A happy birth experience usually has nothing to do with what happened (epidural, no epidural, c-section, water birth) but whether mom felt supported and treated with respect at a vulnerable time.

    Not the birth I planned — but I loved it!

  • Your Pregnancy 23 of 32

    23: There's no rush to induce

    Your Pregnancy: Month 8: There's no rush to induce “Full term” is anywhere between 37-42 weeks; If all is going well, there's no reason to induce labor with medication before then, says the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

    Inducing labor has its risks

  • Your Pregnancy 24 of 32

    24: There are different stages of labor

    Your Pregnancy: Month 8: There are different stages of labor Labor for a first-time mom is about 24 hours on average, but not all of this is hard, active labor! Educate yourself about the very different stages of labor and how you can cope with each one.

    Some pre-labor signs you may notice late in pregnancy

  • Your Pregnancy 25 of 32

    25: Most labors occur at night

    Your Pregnancy: Month 8: Most labors occur at night Most labors begin in the middle of the night. This is because the labor hormone oxytocin tends to be released in the dark and when women feel safe.

    5 reasons to stay home in early labor

  • Your Pregnancy 26 of 32

    26: You don't have to wear a hospital gown

    Your Pregnancy: Month 8: You don't have to wear a hospital gown In labor you can wear a hospital gown or something of your own — just wear something you don’t mind getting messy in.

    15 essentials to pack for the hospital

  • Your Pregnancy 27 of 32

    27: Learn about the recovery process

    Your Pregnancy: Month 8: Learn about the recovery process When you tour the hospital ask what your options are for recovery; some hospitals have private recovery rooms and some don’t. Some charge extra for a private room and require you to sign up for one as soon as you arrive.

    How to choose the right hospital for you

  • Your Pregnancy 28 of 32

    28: Baby will be a bit slimy after birth

    Your Pregnancy: Month 8: Baby will be a bit slimy after birth When you first see your baby after birth, he or she will be covered with vernix, a waxy, beneficial substance that protects the baby’s skin in utero. Mostly it’s wiped off at some point after birth.

    Why cotton balls should be in your overnight bag

  • Your Pregnancy 29 of 32

    29: Your milk will be different those first few days

    Your Pregnancy: Month 8: Your milk will be different those first few days Women produce colostrum, a very potent, nutrient-dense pre-milk substance, before or right after birth. It’s thicker, darker, and sweeter than milk and it’s just what the baby needs in the first few days of life.

    How to prepare for breastfeeding

  • Your Pregnancy 30 of 32

    30: Consider a lactation consultant

    Your Pregnancy: Month 8: Consider a lactation consultant Not all pediatricians are up-to-date with the best breastfeeding advice. You may need to call a lactation specialist or attend a breastfeeding mom’s group if you need some help. Getting support early can prevent problems.

    Not all moms can breastfeed

  • Your Pregnancy 31 of 32

    31: Be patient with your weight post-birth

    Your Pregnancy: Month 8: Be patient with your weight post-birth Some women lose weight very quickly while breastfeeding — it burns 500 calories a day — while others find they seem to cling to some pounds until they wean. Everybody’s different.

    Does breastfeeding really help you lose weight?

  • Your Pregnancy 32 of 32

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