Pregnancy Week by Week : Week 31 (part 2) - How Your Actions Affect Your Baby’s Development

- 7 Kinds Of Fruit That Pregnant Women Shouldn’t Eat
- How to have natural miscarriage
- Foods That Cause Miscarriage
- Signs Proving You Have Boy Pregnancy

4. Changes in You

Too Much Saliva

Some women experience an increase in saliva during pregnancy. Hormones are the culprit. Too much saliva is called ptyalism; it occurs when estrogen levels increase. The condition often runs in families. Morning sickness may also contribute to the problem.

Often when you feel queasy, you don’t swallow as much as you normally do, which results in buildup of saliva. The good news is saliva decreases the amount of tooth-decaying acid produced by bacteria.

To treat the condition, drink plenty of fluid to increase swallowing. Sucking on hard candies may also offer relief.

Swelling in Your Legs and Feet during Pregnancy

Your body produces as much as 50% more blood and body fluids during pregnancy. Some of this extra fluid leaks into your body tissues. When your growing uterus pushes on pelvic veins, blood flow in the lower part of your body is partially blocked. This pushes fluid into your legs and feet, causing swelling.

Tip for Week 31

Wearing rings and watches may cause circulation problems. Sometimes a ring becomes so tight on a pregnant woman’s finger that the ring must be cut off by a jeweler. You might not want to wear rings if swelling occurs. Some pregnant women purchase inexpensive rings in larger sizes to wear during pregnancy. Or you could put your rings on a pretty chain and wear them around your neck or on a bracelet.

You may notice if you take your shoes off and leave them off for a while, you may not be able to put them back on. This is related to swelling. You may also notice wearing nylon stockings that are tight at the knee (or tight socks) leaves an indentation in your legs. It may look like you still have clothing on. Avoid tight, restrictive clothing.

The way you sit can also affect your circulation. Crossing your legs at the knee or ankle restricts blood flow to your legs. It’s best not to cross your legs.

5. How Your Actions Affect Your Baby’s Development

We’ve already described the importance of lying on your side when resting or sleeping in Week 15. Now’s the time it will pay off. You may notice you begin to retain water if you don’t lie on your side.

Visiting Your Healthcare Provider

It’s important to go to all prenatal appointments. It may seem not much happens at these visits, especially when everything is normal and going well. But the information collected tells your healthcare provider a lot about your condition and your baby’s.

Your healthcare provider is looking for signs of problems, such as changes in your blood pressure or weight, or inadequate growth of the baby. If problems aren’t found early, they may have serious consequences for you and baby.

Childbirth Methods

It’s time to start thinking about how you want to deliver your baby. It’s not too early to do this because many of the methods used need a lot of time and practice to prepare you and your partner or labor coach to use them.

If you decide you want to use a particular method, such as Lamaze, you may have to sign up early to get a place in a class. In addition, you and your labor coach will want time to practice what you learn so you’ll be able to use it during labor and delivery.

Some women decide before birth they are going to labor and deliver with natural childbirth. What does this mean? The description and/or definition of natural childbirth varies from one couple to another. Many people equate natural childbirth with a drug-free labor and delivery. Others equate natural childbirth with the use of mild or local pain medications. Most agree natural childbirth is birth with as few artificial procedures as possible. However, a woman who chooses natural childbirth usually needs some advance instruction to prepare for it.

Childbirth Philosophies and Methods. There are various philosophies of natural childbirth. Three of the most well-known are Lamaze, the Bradley Method and Grantly Dick-Read.

Lamaze is the oldest childbirth-preparation technique. Through training, it conditions women to replace unproductive laboring efforts with fruitful ones and emphasizes relaxation and breathing as ways to relax during labor and delivery.

The Bradley Method embraces a basic belief in the ability of all women to give birth naturally. Classes teach relaxation and inward focus; many types of relaxation are used. Emphasis is put on deep abdominal breathing to make labor more comfortable. Bradley includes a woman’s partner in the birthing process. Classes teach expectant parents how to stay healthy and keep their risk of complications low through good nutrition, exercise and lifestyle choices. Classes begin when pregnancy is confirmed and continue until after birth.

In 1933, Dr. Grantly Dick-Read published the book Childbirth without Fear to put forth the belief that fear and tension cause pain in 95% of women giving birth. (He did believe pain-relief medication was useful for women who had problems or a difficult birth.) The Grantly Dick-Read method tries to break the fear-tension-pain cycle of labor and delivery through relaxation techniques. The classes were the first to include fathers in the birth experience.

Other childbirth methods are also taught. Marie Mongan, a hypnotherapist, used the work of Dr. Grantly Dick-Read to develop hypnobirthing. She believes if you’re not afraid, pain is reduced or eliminated, so anesthetics during labor are unnecessary.

Physical therapist Cathy Daub is the founder of Birth Works Childbirth Education. The goal of Birth Works is to help women have more trust and faith in their ability to give birth and to help build self-confidence. Classes are taught once a week for 10 weeks. They may be taken any time during pregnancy; it’s best to take them before you become pregnant or during your first trimester.

Birthing from Within was developed by Pam England, a midwife. She believes birth is a rite of passage, not a medical event. Classes center on self-discovery. Pain-coping measures are intended to be integrated into daily life, not just used for labor.

ICEA, ALACE and CAPPA are three associations that share a similar philosophy. They believe in helping women trust their bodies and gain the knowledge necessary for making informed decisions about childbirth. The International Childbirth Education Association (ICEA) most commonly certifies hospital and physician educators. The Association of Labor Assistants & Childbirth Educators (ALACE) and the Childbirth and Postpartum Professional Association (CAPPA) usually offer independent classes.

Each of the above groups teach the stages of labor and coping techniques for each stage. Class series vary in length.

Should You Consider Natural Childbirth? Natural childbirth isn’t for every woman. If you arrive at the hospital dilated 1cm, with strong contractions and in pain, natural childbirth may be hard for you. In this situation, an epidural might be appropriate.

On the other hand, if you arrive at the hospital dilated 4 or 5cm and contractions are OK, natural childbirth might be a reasonable choice. It’s impossible to know what will happen ahead of time, but it helps to be aware of, and ready for, everything.

Keep an open mind during the unpredictable process of labor and delivery. Don’t feel guilty or disappointed if you can’t do all the things you planned. You may need an epidural. Or the birth may not be accomplished without an episiotomy. You should never feel guilty or feel you’ve failed if you need a Cesarean, an epidural or an episiotomy.

Beware of instructors in childbirth-education classes who tell you labor is free of pain, no one really needs a Cesarean delivery, I.V.s are unnecessary or an episiotomy is foolish. This can create unrealistic expectations for you. You may need some of these procedures.

The goal in labor and delivery is a healthy baby and a healthy mom. If this means you end up with a C-section, it’s OK. Be grateful a Cesarean delivery can be done safely. Babies that would not have survived birth in the past can now be delivered safely. This is a wonderful accomplishment!

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