Pregnancy and Children

Pregnancy And Children Quick Find

Pregnancy And Children     Pregnancy And Children

We designed this page to allow you to quickly find the answers to your pregnancy questions and concerns. We also designed it as a way for you to get a fast education on every aspect of pregnancy. Simply scroll down this page and read the sections you have question on. If you need additional information, click the link to see a detailed explanation.

Before Pregnancy

Birth control covers many methods, some of which are created for women and others for men. This section is designed to help you find what type of birth control, if any, is right for you.

Getting and staying healthy is one of the best ways to insure that your baby is born healthy and happy.

Ovulation calendars can help you to determine when you are most fertile and most likely to get pregnant.

Help is Available if You are Pregnant

Crisis centers and shelters are places you can go if you need immediate help and/or a safe place to stay. This section of our website will help you find crisis centers and shelters in your area consider contacting a local shelter or crisis pregnancy center.

Financial assistance and other programs are available to women and their babies.  For many women, the extra expenses of prenatal care and preparing for the new baby are overwhelming. We want you to know that help is available and where to find it.

Food is available to keep you and your baby healthy.  Programs include Women Infants and Children, Aid to Families with Dependant Children, other federal, state and county programs, plus local organizations and churches and synagogues.

Hotlines are available to you 24 hours a day and can assist you with everything from finding a safe place for you and your baby to crisis counseling.

Medical Care for you and your baby is available, often completely free of charge or on a sliding scale, through state and county health agencies, health care providers who receive government funding, and a larger number of organizations and facilities that care about women and children.

Shelters are available to keep you and your baby safe.  These  are run by people who care about you and your baby.

Support Groups are available to help you whether you need information, advice or just a shoulder to lean on.

Infant safe havens were created to help you and your baby. They are places where you can take and leave your baby and know that the baby will be safe and that you will not have to worry about legal action against you.

Early Pregnancy

Early symptoms of pregnancy can begin within a week of conception. The most common early signs that you may be pregnant are having a missed or delayed menstrual cycle. A second very common early sign of pregnancy is a change in the way your breasts feel. They may feel tender, tingly or sore, or they may feel fuller and heavier.

Medical care is important before, during and after pregnancy for you and your baby. This section will help you find ways to stay healthy and explains the most important times to get medical care during your pregnancy and also where you can go to get medical help.

Pregnancy tests can help you know for sure whether or not you are pregnant.  Taking a pregnancy test can be an experience filled with excitement as well as concern and nervousness. This section is to help you with your concerns, such as explaining to you how a home pregnancy test works, what can affect the results, and when to visit your doctor or midwife.

Prenatal care can make a life and death difference for you and your baby. Every year nearly one million American women deliver babies without receiving adequate medical attention. While many of these women and their children do fine, it has been established that babies born to mothers who received no prenatal care are five times more likely to die than those whose mothers received prenatal care.

Prenatal testing is a method of diagnosing possible problems with your baby so that the proper treatments can be given.

Ultrasound is a common diagnostic procedure that uses high-frequency sound waves to "echo," or bounce, off the body and create a picture of your baby.

Unplanned pregnancy can be scary and can leave you feeling confused and worried. In this section we try to help you find answers to the questions most commonly asked by women who have found themselves with an unplanned pregnancy.

Pregnancy Information

Pregnancy terms and definitions will help you understand what doctors, midwives, and others are saying about you and your baby.

Body changes are part of the normal process of pregnancy.  Some of these changes are evident at the very beginning of the pregnancy.  Understanding these changes will help you know what to expect.

Eating and nutrition during pregnancy does not simply mean you should eat more, it means you should carefully consider what you should, and should not, eat.

Herbs and vitamin supplements can be part of a balanced diet for pregnant women; however, they should only be taken on a health care provider's recommendation.

Exercise is important to pregnant women.  It can make you feel better.  It also helps burn up calories to prevent too much weight gain during pregnancy. Unless there are medical reasons to avoid it, pregnant women can, and should, exercise moderately.

Surprising facts is information on several things that your health care provider may not have discussed with you, but would be very helpful for you to understand.

Pregnancy Concerns

Common concerns abound regarding what you can and can't do during pregnancy. Knowing what could truly be harmful to your baby and what's not a real concern is important throughout your pregnancy.

Medications should be taken as prescribed by your health care provider, but they should also be taken based on your doctor "knowing" that you are pregnant or trying to become pregnant.  Some medications that may have been prescribed for you before you became pregnant may not be good for you and your baby after you become pregnant. 

Sex during pregnancy is safe for you and the baby.  However, it is recommended that you check with your health care provide to make sure that your's is not a high risk pregnancy in which case they may recommend you refrain from sex until the baby is born.

Work during pregnancy is okay as a general rule. However, keep in mind that some work places pose risks and that you should discuss with your health care provider.

Pregnancy Symptoms

Back pain or back discomfort is common during pregnancy and should be expected by most women. In fact, studies have shown that 50-75% of pregnant women experience pregnancy-related lower back pain.

Bladder issues are common for pregnant women because as your baby grows it puts pressure on your bladder, which in turn can cause occasionally urine leaks and the need for frequent urination.

Constipation affects over 50% of all pregnant women.

Fatigue and mood swings are common complaints during pregnancy with the most common cause being hormonal changes.

Heartburn and indigestion affect over 50% of all pregnant women.

Morning sickness is among the most common complaint of pregnancy, affecting around 70% of pregnant women. For some women it occurs only in the morning, but it can occur at any time during the day.

Sleep problems are common for pregnant women.  During the first 3 months of your pregnancy you may sleeping more than you normally did. During the remainder of your pregnancy the opposite may be true, you may have trouble falling asleep to which simple solutions such as sleeping on your side to reduce discomfort may be the solution.

Weight gain is normal during pregnancy. However, you need to be careful about how much weight you gain during your pregnancy. Gaining too much or too little can be harmful to you and your baby.  Gaining the right amount of weight helps protect your health and the health of your baby.

Pregnancy Problems

Bleeding during pregnancy can be a frightening experience. Up to 10% of women have vaginal bleeding at some time during their pregnancy, especially in the first trimester of the pregnancy.

Complications during pregnancy can come from many things. However, some are more common than others. This section provides a description of the most common pregnancy complications and what you can do to protect yourself and your baby.

Depression affects over 10-20% of women during pregnancy. Hormones, body changes and new emotions during pregnancy make you vulnerable to emotional ups and downs

Rh factor is the type of protein on the red blood cells. The Rh factor causes problems when an Rh-negative person's blood comes in contact with Rh-positive blood.

Fetal alcohol syndrome can cause a range of disorders in unborn babies.  What you need to know is that if you are pregnant and drink alcohol, your baby is also affected by the alcohol.

Stages of Pregnancy

Estimating your due date and gestational age of the fetus are very important when complications occur in the pregnancy. The progress of a pregnancy can be judged as normal or abnormal only when the gestational age is accurately known.

Pregnancy calendars can help you answer questions such as "How far along is my pregnancy?" or "When am I due?".

1st trimester is a term commonly used to describe the first 3 months of a pregnancy.

2nd trimester discusses the changes taking place during months 4-6 of a pregnancy.

3rd trimester discusses the changes taking place during months 7-9 of a pregnancy.

Pregnancy Risks

Do's and don'ts of pregnancy.   When you are pregnant you will probably here, "Eat this. Don't eat that. Do this. Don't do that" until you are exhausted by it.  It's normal for pregnant women are bombarded with Do's and Don'ts. In this section we try to help you decide what advice to listen to and what advice to ignore.

Alcohol  consumption during pregnancy can cause your baby to be born with physical and mental birth defects. Although many women are aware that heavy drinking during pregnancy can cause birth defects, many do not realize that moderate, or even light drinking during late pregnancy may harm the fetus.

Caffeine consumption during pregnancy is a controversial subject. Some studies suggest that modest caffeine intake of less than two average cups (defined below) of coffee per day presents a slight risk to the embryo or fetus, but others do not. Be aware that caffeine is in many of the foods we eat, not just in drinks such as coffee, tea and sodas.

Drug use by a pregnant woman can result in harm to her unborn child.

Herbal remedies and some vitamins are considered natural alternatives to certain drugs, but they can be dangerous when taken during pregnancy.

Smoking can harm your baby. When you smoke, your baby gets less oxygen. Lack of oxygen can cause your baby to grow more slowly and gain less weight in the womb. Smoking during pregnancy has also been linked to pre-term labor and other pregnancy complications.

Birth Plans

Birth plan is a list your of pregnancy and delivery preferences and can help you realize what is most important to you in the birth of your baby.

Birthing centers and hospitals are two of the choices that you have to answer the question "Where am I going to have this baby?".

Midwives assist at more than 70% of normal vaginal births in Europe, whereas, in the U.S., midwives delivered only 7% of babies born in 1997. However, that number women using midwives is increasing.  This section will help you decide if a midwife is a good decision for you.

Doulas are professionals trained in childbirth who provide emotional, physical and informational support to the woman who is expecting, in labor or has recently given birth. The doula's role is help women have a safe, memorable and empowering birthing experience.

Labor and Delivery

Inducing labor with the use of medication is something a doctor may do if your labor hasn't started on its own.

Labor and birth are preceded by your body undergoing certain changes.  These changes provide you with signals to let you know if this is the time for delivery and the birth of your baby.  

Episiotomy is a procedure where the skin between the vagina and the anus (the perineum) is cut to enlarge the vaginal opening so that a baby can be more easily delivered.

Cesarean birth is a surgical procedure used in the delivery of 1 in 3 babies in the United States. This section will help you understand what a C-section is and how you may be affected by a C-section.

Pain during delivery is part of the normal birth process.  In this section we introduce several strategies to help you deal with the pain.

After Delivery

APGAR is the first test given to your newborn, and occurs right after your baby's birth.  The test is designed to quickly evaluate your newborn's physical condition and to determine any immediate need for extra medical or emergency care.

Banking cord blood is a process where blood from the umbilical cord and placenta is collected and stored after the umbilical cord has been detached from the newborn. This is most commonly used to store the cord blood in case the child or member of the family were to develop cancer at some future date and needs a source of healthy bone marrow, etc.

Bonding is the intense attachment that develops between parents and their baby. Most infants are ready to bond immediately. Parents, on the other hand, can take longer to bond with the child.

Breast versus formula feeding is one of the first decisions a mother will make.

Breastfeeding is recommended over formula feeding by most health organizations as the best choice for the health of your baby.

Formula feeding creates a whole list of questions.  Here we attempt to answer your questions.

Infertility

Infertility is the inability to naturally conceive a child or the inability to carry a pregnancy to term. There are many reasons why a couple may not be fertile or may not be able to conceive without medical assistance.

Infertility terms and definitions can be confusing.  We have put together the most common terms and definitions relating to infertility to help you.

Trying to conceive and not succeeding invariably leads to questions such as "How do you figure out when you are fertile and when you are not?" or "Am I or my partner infertile?".  Here we show you how to find the answers to those and other questions.

Male infertility can be the result of several different factors.  The most common tests for male infertility include semen and urine samples.

Female infertility can be the result of many different factors.  Testing for infertility is generally accomplished with a thorough physical exam, a detailed family history, and blood, urine and other tests.  

Emotional issues seem to surround infertility problems.  The physical and psychological impact of infertility can be devastating to the infertile person, to their partner, and to the relationship. Often these issues can be resolved by education, counseling or adoption.

Infertility drugs are a regular and normal part of infertility treatments. These medications are used to prepare the body for treatment and to increase the probability that a pregnancy will occur.

Treatments for infertility depend on the cause of infertility. There are many reasons why a couple may not be able to conceive or may not be able to conceive without medical assistance. This section will provide you with information about the causes of infertility and the appropriate types of treatment for each cause.

Insurance issues can complicate the issue of infertility.  We want you to know that more than a dozen states require insurance companies to offer varying forms of benefits for fertility treatments. There are generally two kinds of mandates: to "cover" treatments and to "offer to cover" fertility treatments.

Adoption

Placing a child for adoption can be a traumatic experience.  We want you to know that you can contact us and that we are here to help you if you are considering placing your child for adoption.

Adopting a child?  If you are thinking about adoption a child, this is a good place to start.

Adoption by relatives is the process of placing a child for adoption with a relative.

Foster care is temporary care for children who are unable to remain in their own homes and are placed in the custody of the state and county children and youth authority.

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More Help
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Pregnancy And Children     Pregnancy And Children

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

Pregnancy

Pregnancy Assistance Pregnancy Concerns
Pregnancy And Delivery Pregnancy Issues
Pregnancy Stages Pregnancy Definitions
Pregnancy Problems