Childbirth: A Timeline to Ease Your Mind
Preparing for Pregnancy
Even before you become pregnant, your health matters to your future baby. Two tips: Address any medical problems before becoming pregnant, then get regular prenatal care.
Your Changing Body
The hormones of pregnancy bring on a number of changes, from nausea to fatigue. Your growing, developing baby, too, has a profound effect.
Your First Trimester
You need to take care of yourself for a new reason. Your health can affect your baby's growth. Focus on your health for two reasons now, not one.
Your Second Trimester
This often is called the "golden trimester." You're starting to show. And you're starting to glow. Use this time to have fun with your partner, your friends, and your family.
Your Third Trimester
Visits with your health care provider will be biweekly, then weekly. Ask now about labor, childbirth, the warning signs of preterm labor, and when to call your provider.
Healthy Pregnancy Lifestyles
Here is sound advice: Don't smoke. Don't drink alcohol or use illegal drugs. Eat a nutritious and balanced diet. See your doctor regularly throughout your pregnancy.
Although the majority of pregnancies are uneventful, sometimes complications do occur. Bleeding, miscarriage, and preeclampsia are some of the common complications.
Labor, Birth, and Postpartum
Probable signs of labor: your contractions are getting stronger; your contractions are regular (about every 5 minutes) and getting more painful; your water breaks.
Your Newborn Baby
Sleeping, eating, crying, cooing—your new arrival will keep you busy. You'll soon figure out his or her patterns and preferences.
When Baby Needs Special Care
Sometimes a baby has a difficult birth or arrives prematurely. If that happens, treatment can begin right away—in the delivery room.
Feeding Your Baby
For the first four months, breast milk or formula provides your baby all the nutrients that are needed to grow.
Know Your Risks
Having a baby is a life-changing event, so it’s completely normal to feel a bit overwhelmed. However, if your spirits are down despite your new bundle of joy, it may be a sign of postpartum depression. Take our online assessment to help determine your risk.