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It has been written that man cannot tell how the bones are formed in the womb. Although we know a lot about conception, pregnancy, fetal development and the scientific explanation of it all, this statement is as true today as when it was first written centuries ago. This article deals with what we do know, what we have discovered and what our science tells us about conception, pregnancy and fetal development. You will learn much more as well in the context of this article. You will also be encouraged to relax, accept many things which you do not necessarily understand, and have confidence in knowing that from this point forward life will be a different type of adventure than you have had so far. The life we gain in bringing forth life is a positive change that imprints our very being forever.
Note: Pregnancy related words are explained as a footnote on the bottom of each page where the term first appears.
1 Pregnancy Basics
This section answers basic questions that you do/will have concerning pregnancy. These subjects cover a variety of events and span across all stages of pregnancy.
1.1 Is Pregnancy Spotting A Serious Concern?
Spotting1 or bleeding is always a serious concern during pregnancy. Although spotting occurs in about 25% of all pregnancies, spotting should never be considered “normal” or “safe”; it is neither. Of the pregnancies in which the mother spots or bleeds, about half of those do miscarry. Indeed, miscarriage2 is the number one cause of spotting or bleeding, especially if the mother experiences pain with the spotting. Most spotting which occurs in the first trimester is an indicator of fetal3 trauma and/or miscarriage. Spotting or bleeding between the 13th and 37th weeks can indicate a mid-term miscarriage or other complication. Most spotting or bleeding which occurs after the 37th week
Spotting is light to medium heavy bleeding during any stage of the pregnancy. Miscarriage is the body’s termination of a pregnancy either through natural causes, genetic causes, trauma to the woman’s body or any unexplained cause. The body expels the fetus/baby and it is marked by severe bleeding. 3 The fetal stage of pregnancy is the period after conception and after the embryonic stage when the baby begins to have human form.
indicates that the mother’s body is preparing for delivery. At this point, it is highly likely that the mucous plug4 has moved and the cervix5 is beginning to efface6.
1.1 Healthy Cervix
In all instances of spotting or bleeding, the mother should immediately contact her physician for an examination. Symptoms can also indicate vaginitis7, venereal disease8, yeast9 or other, more serious infections that can affect the health of the unborn child. Spotting can be an indication of problems with the placenta or a warning of later complications with the delivery. It can also be an indication of more complicated problems such as a drop in progesterone10 – the female hormone responsible for holding the uterine lining in place during pregnancy. If the progesterone drops too severely, you can be at risk of losing your baby to miscarriage; another reason it is very important to get to your doctor right away. More than 2 days of spotting or bleeding indicates a serious medical issue and should be treated immediately by your doctor.
1.2 How Do I Calculate My Due Date?
The standard for calculating your due date is to count out 40 weeks after the first day of your last period. In actuality, only about 5% of all births happen within this time estimate. This is largely because very few women know when they conceived and often do not remember the exact date of their last period. Normal delivery date is considered anytime after the 38th week.
The mucous plug is made of extra thick mucous that plugs the entry of the cervix to protect the fetus during pregnancy. It also prevents pregnancy during non-fertile days of the menstrual cycle. 5 The cervix is the base of the uterus or the entry/exit point of the uterus. This photo is the cervix of a healthy 25 year old woman. Photo credit: http://www.beautifulcervix.com/ 6 Effacement is the beginning of the delivery process in which the cervix withdraws or “thins” until it disappears so the baby’s head can pass. When your cervix is fully effaced, you are in labor. 7 Vaginitis is any mild or severe infection in the vagina – also known as the birth canal. 8 Venereal disease is any disease of any of the reproductive organs; for women this includes any disease in the vagina, cervix, uterus, ovaries, fallopian tubes or any of their linings. 9 Yeast is a common infection among sexually active women; it is not considered a venereal disease, but it causes great discomfort, itching, burning and general irritation. Men can be carriers of yeast and have no symptoms. 10 Progesterone has many functions in the pregnancy process and in your everyday hormonal cycle; this is one.
1.3 Pregnancy Symptoms
Not all women experience all symptoms of pregnancy. Indeed, every woman is different and some have no symptoms of pregnancy at all. There are regular cases of larger built women going to the doctor because they have sudden “cramps” only to find they are in labor when they had no indicators throughout the entire pregnancy. The normal indicator of an absent period may not be missed if their bodies have stopped menstruating because of stress. There are also cases of very fit women having symptoms within the first couple of weeks of pregnancy and knowing they are pregnant because they are so in tuned to their bodies. In my own pregnancy, I had symptoms in the first two weeks which I did not identify with pregnancy. My husband had a child from a previous relationship and identified my pregnancy before I did – just from the symptoms of swollen hands and fingers. Common symptoms of pregnancy include: Missing your period.11 Usually the earliest indicator. Morning sickness or nausea. Another early indicator. This symptom usually disappears by the fourth month. Swollen hands or feet. Also an early indicator. Sometimes this symptom will last throughout the pregnancy depending upon your inclination to retain water and your
Your period is the time during which your body menstruates or bleeds each month.
blood sugar levels. The more prone you are to diabetes12 during pregnancy, the more likely you will have swollen hands or feet. Mood changes and stress. These can set in during any phase of pregnancy. Your hormones13 are changing dramatically to accommodate your body’s needs to properly carry your baby. These hormone changes will affect your general disposition and decision making. Do not be distraught by the idea of needing to depend on your husband or the baby’s father for major decisions – it is in your interest to let more level heads prevail during this time. Softening eyes. Noticed by others as a gentle and softer look around and in the eyes. My grandmother could tell a woman was pregnant before she would get the results from the doctor by looking at her eyes. If you take a picture of yourself when you are first pregnant and compare it to your other pictures, you will see the softening in the eyes. Sometimes described as a pregnancy “glow”, it is a distinct and clear sign of life inside of you. You will also notice that your animals will immediately respond in an unusally loving and gentle way toward you; the animals know you have life inside of you often before you are officially notified.
1.4 Morning Sickness And Nausea – What Do I Do About It?
Most women have some level of nausea14 or morning sickness at some point in their pregnancy. It may not be possible for you to completely avoid it without a lot of luck. Here are some tips for keeping nausea to a minimum: 1. Eat smaller portions and eat more frequently – every 2 to 3 hours. 2. Eat crackers in the evening and before rising – they will help to absorb any extra acid in your stomach. 3. Avoid greasy and spicy foods, and do not skip any meals. 4. Keep a small fan near you at all times along with small pieces of ice. Bathe yourself with the ice and blow the fan on your face when you begin to feel queasy. Nausea does not stick with you when you are cool in the face. 5. Drink lots of water and avoid colas and coffee.
Diabetes is a blood sugar condition which is noted by an absence of proper insulin production in your system and it affects the normal functioning of your kidneys. Your unborn baby can enter into fetal trauma if you become diabetic during pregnancy. The older you are during your pregnancy, the more likely you are to have diabetes during pregnancy. 13 Hormones are the chemicals produced in and by the body for normal reproductive functioning. 14 Nausea is a sickening of the stomach and stomach fluids; normally causes vomiting during pregnancy.
1.5 How Do I Avoid Flatulence And Constipation?
To some degree flatulence15 and constipation16 during pregnancy cannot be completely avoided without some diligent attention to your body. Your hormonal changes and your digestive rearrangements collaborate to make problems for you. The increase in progesterone in your body during pregnancy slows down the digestive process increasing gas and bloating in your digestive system. Combined with the digestive track moving as the baby grows, you have little chance of avoiding gas or constipation all together. Here are some home remedies that help to reduce gas and constipation during pregnancy: To relieve intestinal gas: Lie with your tummy down and rest on your elbows [or your face if you need the extra angling] while resting on your knees also. This should put your body at an angle very similar to a newborn when they sleep – with your rear end in the air. This position should not cause you to lie on your tummy; your tummy should never touch the floor/mattress. Newborns have a natural sense about them and they sleep like this to relieve gas. This position for 20 to 30 minutes will also relieve your gas – hot air rises [and it naturally lets itself out of your bottom]. Stir together: 2 Tablespoons of Flaxseed Oil; 2 Tablespoons of Virgin Olive Oil; and 4 ounces of 2% Milk. Drink this 2 times daily and your intestinal system will be “oiled” well and your baby will have lots of Omegas17 that he needs. Bowel movements will not be as troublesome. For regular bowel movements, try your grandmother’s remedy: 1 to 2 Tablespoons of Castor Oil one to two times weekly. High doses of Castor Oil [2+ Tablespoons] will also help induce labor when that time comes and will make you clean for a clean delivery.
1.6 What You Should Know About Pregnancy Tests
Pregnancy tests today handle a number of pregnancy concerns including testing for an actual, current pregnancy. Other factors concerning conception that can be found in popular pregnancy
Flatulence is intestinal gas that builds up in the digestive tract and is released prior to a normal bowel movement. Constipation is a blockage in the bowels that prevents normal bowel movements. 17 Omegas are fatty acids that are vital to our health and to our baby’s development. Also known as Omega 3, Omega 6, and Omega 9, these are essential unsaturated fatty acids that help our body to lubricate well and function with optimal health. Omega fats are found in foods such as: walnuts; flaxseed; spinach; greens; and freshwater fish. Omegas are fats that are good for our health and do not hurt us; they do not cause weight gain.
tests include: ovulation18 prediction; fertility19 monitors; basal20 thermometers; fertility supplements; and pre-see lubricants. The top 3 home pregnancy tests in the marketplace today are: 1) First Response; 2) Clear Blue; and 3) E.P.T. The marketplace is somewhat diverse and you can find other early pregnancy tests in your local drugstore or grocery.
Most pregnancy tests in the marketplace, in your local drug store, are fairly straight forward to use. Normally under $10 to purchase, the popular EPTs have clear instructions indicating the color bars and what each color indicates. For most EPTs, you need only place the open package under your urine stream and wait a few minutes for the color strips to give your results. These tests have become somewhat reliable for the majority of women, but should be followed with a doctor’s visit if you have a delay in other physical confirmations.
1.7 Heartburn During Pregnancy
Heartburn during pregnancy is experienced by almost all women primarily because the increase in hormones in your pregnant body causes the lower esophageal sphincter [LES]21 to relax more
Ovulation is the body’s release of an egg into the reproductive system. An ovulation prediction test attempts to predict the time of ovulation based on body’s temperature. 19 Fertility is the body’s ability to conceive and carry a baby to term. 20 Basal thermometer measures the body’s base temperature. 21 LES – the muscle in the bottom of your esophagus that contracts to keep the stomach acid down in the stomach and out of the throat.
than normal. This relaxation of the lower throat muscles allows digestive acids to rise in your esophagus and throat, giving you an awful heartburn symptom. There is little you can do to change the hormonal factor, but there are other steps you can take to minimize heartburn during your pregnancy. When I was pregnant, I craved Italian foods of every flavor. Of course, many Italian foods are tomato based – terrible for heartburn. You will want to minimize your intake of foods that will normally incline anyone to heartburn. Spicy foods, caffeine and soda aggravate heartburn along with alcohol and rich foods. Of course, if you are troubled by your body’s demands for one of these, as I was, you will have to implement some coping techniques. Here are some tips: • Eat your bread as the last course of the meal. Also eat crackers or bread at bedtime to help absorb the excess stomach acids and to keep the acid from coming up in your throat while you sleep. • • • If your heartburn is bad, you will have to make sleeping changes. I had to sleep in a sitting up position in my bed to keep everything from rolling upward in the night. Eat small meals and don’t eat within 4 hours of going to sleep. Give the food time to get well into your digestive system. Drink plenty of water throughout the day, but avoid drinking water within an hour before going to bed. Sometimes acid rides up your throat on the water so make sure you don’t have a lot in the top of your tummy before you lay down.
1.8 Lifestyle, Exercise & Safety Questions
Generally speaking, it is best to avoid habits or comforts that may jeopardize the health of the baby. However, in your everyday life it may not be so obvious what everyday activities are not good for the baby or under what circumstances that those activities become hazardous to the unborn child. If you have question that is not covered here, be sure to consult your gynecologist/obstetrics doctor or your midwife for specific direction concerning your circumstances/health. Here are a few lifestyle, exercise and answers and safety tips on what to continue/discontinue and when/why: • Can I get a manicure? Like many female procedures, manicures contain chemicals which you may want to avoid. Exposure to chemicals during your
pregnancy increases the possibility of complications in the pregnancy or harm to the baby. Your exposure includes breathing treatment fumes as well as the physical absorption when the chemicals are applied. Discuss the risks with your doctor and make an informed decision. • Can I get a pedicure? Very similar to a manicure, pedicures expose both you and your baby to unnecessary and unwanted chemicals. Additionally, having a pedicure in pregnancy increases your exposure to complications with your feet. It is common for women to seek foot comfort during pregnancy, but you may want to limit your foot comfort efforts to a good, hot soak and a strong foot massage. This will help reduce swelling and the possibility of foot infections. • Can I get a massage? Yes, unless your doctor gives you a medical reason to avoid it, a massage22 is a good stress relaxer for pregnant women. You will want to seek a masseuse that offices out of a beauty shop, chiropractor23 or similar respectable business. Be sure your masseuse24 has a table that will accommodate your changing tummy. Just as the tables have face rests/holes, the right masseuse will have a table with belly rests/supports. You and your baby should both be relaxed during the process of receiving a massage. • Can I travel on airplane? Check with your physician before traveling by plane. There are a number of pregnancy related medical conditions that can cause you and your baby stress or harm if you travel during pregnancy. If you are in excellent health and the baby is doing well, there may be no problems for air travel in the first 6 months of pregnancy. In the last trimester of pregnancy, every woman should consult her doctor before boarding a plane. • Can I color/bleach my hair? Hair color and bleach are very similar to manicures and pedicures during pregnancy because they introduce a number of highly toxic chemicals into your body. Most doctors suggest that you avoid hair color and bleach during pregnancy. To cover gray during pregnancy so you do not look haggardly, check with your beauty supply house for an all natural Henna based color. These are fairly inexpensive and considered safe by most experts.
A massage is physical therapy performed by a professional who knows and understands the body’s muscle system and who rubs the different muscle groups for the purpose or relaxation and stress release. 23 A chiropractor is a medical doctor who practices realigning the skeletal bones for optimal health. Some of their work involves massage of the muscle groups for the smooth moving of the bones. 24 A masseuse is the name given to massage professionals; they may or may not be licensed according to local laws and customs.
Can I have some wine with my dinner? First check with your doctor. If you limit your wine intake to ½ glass or a 1 four ounce glass, then you are usually safe in most instances. Conditions which could make a dinner wine a no-no include a history of alcoholism or pregnancy diabetes.
Can I smoke to help me relax?
Both regular cigarettes and marijuana are
generally not a good idea during pregnancy. You may rationalize your smoking as a way of relaxing, but the baby can become addicted to the nicotine or THC25 and neither of these chemicals is good for the baby. Find another way to relax. Some activities that will naturally relax your body without stressing you or your new baby inside include sex, swimming or a good body massage. Any of these can safely become a healthy habit for you and your spouse. • Can I jog/run everyday? You will definitely want to have a check-up and a doctor’s okay before running during pregnancy. Your doctor needs to check the strength of your uterine wall, your cervix and your general health in order to make sure you and the baby are safe for this type of activity. If you were a runner before pregnancy, this will help you. But do not assume that your experience makes it okay to continue during pregnancy. Much of what determines your physical activity level during pregnancy has to do with how healthy both you and your baby are at every stage of pregnancy. You will need regular check ups and you will need to immediately stop any activity that creates any type of pain or discomfort. • Can I ride a horse? Although the horse is doing the “work” when you ride, horseback riding is still a very physically strenuous activity. You must consider this the same as jogging/running and get your doctor’s check-up and permission before riding. • Can I do aerobic exercises? You will want to talk these over with your doctor. Make sure you describe exactly the particulars of the aerobic exercises you want to do. Some aerobic exercises are safer than others. Ask your doctor to recommend which you can safely do. • Can I swim or sit in a hot tub? Generally, water is not a problem during pregnancy unless it is shooting up your birth canal with considerable force. Remember, doing laps in a pool is very aerobic and good for you and the baby.
THC is also known as tetrahydrocannabinol, a chemical compound found in the marijuana plant that is primarily responsible for the plant’s relaxing qualities.
Swimming is one of the safest aerobic exercises you can do during pregnancy. Again, you want to discuss your physical activity with your doctor. But unless you have a specific ailment that puts you at risk, then it is very likely swimming will be okay for you. • Can I workout in the gym? Workouts that do not include lifting more than 15 pounds are usually safe. When you discuss your workout with your doctor, be sure to be specific and tell him the exact type of gym workout you want to do. Make sure he is very informed so that you don’t mistakenly put your baby at risk. • Can I ride a bicycle? Most times you are safe to ride a bicycle during pregnancy assuming you follow the safety rules of riding. If you spot at any time, immediately stop and go to the doctor to avoid miscarriage. This is true with most of these physical activities – bleeding of any type means STOP and get to the doctor. Check with your doctor before riding a bicycle any extended length [such as mileage]. • Can I drink soda? Drinking soda during pregnancy can increase the likelihood of certain pregnancy risks such as swelling feet, pregnancy diabetes and dry mouth. Soda pop also increases your blood sugar and interferes with your kidney functions. Your baby is heavily dependent upon your kidneys and their proper functioning. It is best not to drink soda during pregnancy. If you must drink soda, limit it to a very small amount – under 4 ounces. • Can I drink coffee/tea? Yes, you can drink these during pregnancy. But they are similar to soda in that you want to severely limit them and the sugar that you put into them. The caffeine in coffee and tea are similar to nicotine in that it poses an addiction possibility to the unborn baby. One coffee here or there or a small portion will not make your baby an addict. But be careful with your intake of these drinks and make sure your doctor knows how many of them you drink each day. • Can I eat beef? Yes, red meat is good for the baby’s development. However, because the ranchers add a lot of chemicals to their cattle, you may want to consider organic beef. I found this helpful during my pregnancy and it made the beef tastier and easier to eat. • Can I eat shellfish? Although you may get mixed answers on this question depending on who you ask, consider what a shellfish is and what he eats. Most shellfish are the scavengers of the ocean. They eat everyone else’s leftovers and
scraps/waste. You may also want to consider the high level of mercury26 in the oceans and in our fish; do you want to increase your baby’s exposure to mercury? If you are craving fish, go for the Alaskan salmon and other similarly “clean” fish that are good for you and your baby. Salmon and other fresh water fish are good for your baby’s brain development so don’t avoid fish all together.
1.9 “Must-Have” Clothing For Your Pregnancy
Here is a short list of “must-have” clothing for your pregnancy. As you go along, you will appreciate this list more and more. 1. Expensive loafers or flip-flops – Spend the money on them because they will be one of your greatest comforts as your body changes and carries more weight on your delicate feet. 2. A Prenatal Cradle® - You can buy them at: http://www.prenatalcradle.com/prenatalcradle.htm - I loved this little comfort as my body got heavier. I credit the Prenatal Cradle®, the Lord and the twice daily application of virginal olive oil to my belly for a full prevention/elimination of stretch marks.
www.PrenatalCradle.com 3. A loose fitting undershirt – You will want this more as your breasts outgrow your bras. It is an inexpensive way to handle the situation. You can wear the undershirt instead of a bra and not have to spend the $50 or so on each pregnancy bra. Of course, if you are
Mercury is a metal based chemical commonly used in thermometers and other equipment. It is highly toxic and can easily kill a newborn or cause mental damage. The wide use of mercury in infant vaccines is believed to be the primary cause of autism in children.
large to begin with, then this is not suggested because you will want the extra back support of having the right bra. But this works pretty well for smaller breasted women.
2 Ovulation 2.1 What Is Ovulation?
Ovulation27 is the release of an egg from the mother’s ovary into the fallopian tube and made available for fertilization. This is a broad, but common definition for ovulation. In any given month, there are numerous ovum28 produced and released in a woman’s body. Normally, it is the largest ovum that is released down the fallopian tubes for fertilization and implantation. If the fertilization does not occur within 48 hours of the ovum’s release, then it disintegrates and the opportunity for conception is gone. If fertilization happens before the ovum is down the fallopian tubes and into the uterus, then complications from what is known as a “tubal pregnancy” can occur. If the egg implants into the fallopian tubes, surgery is required to preserve the mother’s life; this normally includes the removal of the implanted fallopian tube. Ovulation can be best described as the body’s release of an egg for fertilization in the “middle” of the menstrual cycle. When teaching about ovulation, doctors and nurses use the 28 day cycle as the standard and teach it in the following manner: Menstruation 14 days Ovulation 14 days Menstruation Ovulation occurs between 11 and 21 days after your last period begins. It varies from woman to woman according to each woman’s “normal” cycle – the normal days of your cycle. It fluctuates in frequency each month and is unpredictable which is why it is important to closely monitor your body when you desire to become pregnant.
Ovulation is the body’s release of an egg for fertilization; normal fertilization happens in the uterus. Ovum is the female reproductive cell; the counterpart of the sperm. Also known as a gamete or egg.
2.2 Can I Ovulate Without Having A Period?
Yes, it is possible to ovulate without having a period that month. Since ovulation occurs in the middle of the cycle and 11 to 21 days after your last period, it is possible to ovulate, conceive and not have a period in that month. It is also possible to ovulate while not having a period if your period is suspended due to medical conditions, stress or other factors. It is quite common for women to stop menstruating during breastfeeding, stress or other medical conditions. Often new mothers find themselves pregnant because they falsely believe if they are not menstruating [such as while breastfeeding], then they cannot be fertile. But many doctors will confirm that the first six months after your child’s birth is a most fertile time for new mothers.
2.3 Do I Ovulate Before Or After My Period?
Ovulation occurs mid-cycle; after your period and before the next period. If you conceive during ovulation, you will most likely not have a period that month. It is extremely rare, but possible, that a woman conceives and has a period anyway. In such instances, it is possible to be pregnant and not be aware of it. If you have normal periods and this happens, contact your doctor immediately as it may be a sign of fetal stress.
2.4 What Is An Ovulation Chart?
An ovulation chart helps you to keep track of your ovulation dates each month so you can estimate your ovulation dates each month and increase your probability for becoming pregnant. How can you have one for yourself?
You can take the time to study out charting techniques and apply the principles to your personal chart for monthly tracking.
2.5 Ovulation Tests
Ovulation tests are similar to pregnancy tests in that modern science and technology has made it fairly simple to test yourself with an at-home kit. The kits work in a similar fashion and the instructions are easy to follow.
2.6 Can I Ovulate Twice?
It is possible to ovulate twice if you release more than one egg in a 24 hour period in the same menstrual cycle. In other words, you will likely give birth to twins if you have ovulated twice. If
you are in your 30’s or take fertilization stimulants, your body may be hormonally prompted to release more than one egg creating multiple births. Otherwise, releasing two or more eggs takes multiple pregnancies and is not normal.
2.7 What Are Ovluation Symptoms?
Symptoms for ovulation are not obvious and are often missed. The top three symptoms are: an increased sex drive; a slight rise in your basal temperature; and a visible increase in vaginal mucous. Here are some brief indicators of each: 1. Increased sex drive – This seems self explanatory, but it is important to note that the increase in sex drive does not become part of a woman’s normal natural disposition. Rather it is often mistaken for simply thinking your spouse looks extra sexy today. In fact, a temporary increase in libido lends itself to pregnancy; it’s nature’s way of helping to facilitate it. But, if you’re not paying attention, you may miss this as a symptom. 2. Slight rise in your basal temperature – If you are not taking your temperature each morning with a basal thermometer, then you will likely miss this symptom. This indicator is one that requires monitoring in order to “get” since the basal temperature rises only 0.4 to 0.6 degrees Fahrenheit from one morning to the next during ovulation. 3. Increased vaginal mucous – By far the easiest indicator to recognize since this sticky lump of clear mucous lands in your panties every month about 12-36 hours before ovulation actually begins. This mucous also helps facilitate pregnancy since you will know when you and your hubby need to get busy. His sperm can last up to 48 hours in your body after intercourse and you have a built-in early warning system.
2.8 Chinese Ovulation Calendars
Chinese calculations for ovulation are slightly different than Western calendars and calculations and include charts with 95% accuracy for gender. You will need to do a local internet search if you are looking for an online calendar.
2.9 Ovulation Predictor
Ovulation prediction can be made fairly accurately using an ovulation predictor kit [OPK]. The kit measures your hormones and looks for luteinizing hormone (LH)29 which rises just before ovulation. This is also the hormone that is missing after birth and during breastfeeding – which is why you usually do not ovulate while breastfeeding. Many women in less industrialized nations will breastfeed their newborns up to age 2 or 3 because it helps them to control their fertilization and helps them to prevent conception while tending their new little one. To shop for an OPK, go online and conduct a local search.
Luteinizing hormone is a hormone released by the pituitary gland that stimulates ovulation in women.
Another way that ovulation can be used to control fertility is by abstaining from sex for 5 days once the clear mucous appears in your panties. This time period allows for the ovulation and for the egg to die when not fertilized. If you are in a country that has little or no access to birth control methods, this is a fairly reliable method for utilizing the information your body gives concerning your fertility. Ovulation, along with your monthly period, does return after childbirth and breastfeeding are completed. When your newborn ceases to take your breast, then your body will again experience a monthly surge in LH and begin again to release eggs in your cycle.
Conception occurs when a sperm fertilizes an egg by penetrating the outer layer of the egg, known as a zona. The merging of the sperm with the egg form what is known as the zygote – the beginning of the formation of a human in the human body. The zygote30 becomes an embryo31 when it successfully implants into your uterine wall.
3.1 Tips On Conception
To help you make your circumstances and environment ideal for conception, here are some tips: 1. Relax yourself and your partner and put your minds at ease about the “if” and the “when”. Don’t stress yourselves out with expectations, demands or disappointments. 2. Prayer will help you both relax; it helps your mind and body to acknowledge that some things are out of our control. Do what you can and relax about the rest. 3. Keep yourself and your partner physically, mentally and emotionally relaxed everyday. When you allow stress into either of your experiences, then you reduce the likelihood for conception. Stress is your enemy for conception. 4. Have sex regularly and think of it as an illicit date with your favorite partner or some similar ideal that will help you to keep the sex interesting. Do not make the sex a chore or obligation – no one gets excited about an obligation or a boring sex life. If you have been together a while, go back to your dating habits, play games, stay up late telling each other things you never told anyone.
The zygote is the initial merging of the sperm with the egg that eventually matures into a baby. The embryo is a fertilized egg that has successfully implanted itself into the uterine wall. From this point the embryo develops into a fetus and the fetus into a baby.
5. If your libido32 is average, you may want to check with an herbalist to help kick start your or your partner’s libido. Take a weekend trip or travel out of town to add some interest. Your sex life should be regular and ideally 3 to 5 times a week. This helps keep live sperm in your system so that whenever you ovulate, someone is there to do the knocking. 6. Pay attention to your vaginal mucous. When the monthly glob of mucous appears, go ahead and step up the sex life. The clear mucous occurs within hours of ovulation and has usually occurred within 48 hours. Sperm will stay alive in your system about 2 to 3 days, so use common sense about your timing. 7. Cut out your soda intake completely. If you have one or more soda pops per day, you are hindering or damaging the supportive organs [such as your kidneys] which help to keep your baby in uterine. My Chinese herbalist33 advised me that my soda intake, which was quite large, was the primary cause of my infertility at age 36. The kidneys must be strong enough to support the baby and the processing of all of his nutrients for him to properly develop and come to term. 8. Increase your vitamin intake, especially your C, folic acid and zinc. While you are on nutrition, take care of your diet and what you are eating. 9. Cut out the smoking. Cigarettes will end a pregnancy in the early stages.
3.2 How To Calculate Your Conception Date
The old fashioned method for calculating your conception date is to count 14 days from the first day of your last period [this is your approximate conception date]. Your approximate delivery date will be 266 days after your approximate conception date, or 40 weeks after conception. Because every woman’s body is different and every conception is different, this estimate may be off by a few days. Normal ovulation occurs between 11 and 21 days after the first day of the last period, with 14 days as the standard medical calculation. If your cycle is shorter or longer than 28 days then conception can occur within this range of days. Calculating your conception date is not an exact science, even by doctors. Today, with the internet we have so much more at our fingertips. We can simply go to any number of places online and plug in our information to a conception calculator.
The libido is your sex drive or physical passion. My Chinese herbalist is native Chinese operating an herb shop in the United States.
www.Baby2See.com I like this online calculator because they have so many calculating options available on one site. In one place you can calculate your conception date, your due date, your BMI, your trimester and much more.
3.3 When Should I Conceive?
When you conceive is a very personal and private matter between you, your spouse and your creator. Many people in modern societies believe you should wait until you are in your 30’s to begin your family, but science and physical facts do not support this idea. Some people postpone childbearing for the sake of education or developing a career, but again this is not the optimal choice for easy conception, healthy babies or large families. Additionally, the longer you wait, the higher your chances of not conceiving at all. Your body will change as you age. The hormone levels that make you very fertile in your twenties will be at halflevel by your forties so your conception will be more difficult. Another factor to consider is do you want to wait until you are in your 30’s only to risk finding out that you have a fertility problem that needs medical treatment? The earlier you find out such things, the better you can plan and make the best decisions for your future family.
3.4 Graceful Conception
In modern times, the term “graceful conception” has become a popular phrase used to describe the process of other, fertile women making a donation of ovum to a barren woman for the
purpose of bringing forth a child. There are donor-focused services that help to facilitate this process so necessary for in vitro fertilization [IVF]34 and help infertile women feel safer in their choices. Fertility clinics regularly refer to these organizations to help clients find appropriate and screened donors. Costs to women seeking the services of a graceful conception provider average $20,000 with the donor receiving up to half of the fee. Most providers charge $500 to look at their donor list before making the decision to use their services. However, at least one online site provides a free look at the donors including their intellectual and physical profiles.
3.5 Immaculate Conception
In religious circles, particularly Catholic circles, the immaculate conception35 of Jesus Christ is considered holy and part of the religious beliefs. Unfortunately, even today some mothers and some societies teach young women that conception cannot happen without intercourse [the Immaculate Conception syndrome]. This is a wrong teaching that is widely believed among young women. Conception can occur even if there is no male penetration. Most doctors will tell you that conception can occur if the sperm is spilled close enough to the vagina to make its way up the vagina and into the uterus36. Sperm in the panties is also a conception risk if the panties are worn while wet or before being washed.
In vitro fertilization [IVF] is a medical procedure by which doctors implant a woman with a fertilized egg in order to carry out a pregnancy. The fertilized egg is fertilized in the doctor’s facilities and may be that of the mother or that of a donor if the mother is otherwise infertile. 35 Immaculate conception is a phrase that denotes conception without physical intercourse. Sometimes IVF is referred to as IC because it is a medical procedure rather than physical intercourse with a man.
From a scientific perspective, the question is often asked, Is Immaculate Conception even possible? The scientists ask this because they want to know if the recorded virgin birth of Christ is even possible or remotely accurate. The answer is yes and no. Yes, it is possible. In nature immaculate conceptions occur between the mother and her offspring; the offspring is always female. So, scientifically speaking it is unlikely since we cannot find an example in nature where the female produced a male via an immaculate conception. However, spiritually speaking Christ’s Immaculate Conception is totally possible since God can do all things.
3.6 Problems During Conception & Solutions
Some problems during conception include unwittingly lowering your spouse’s sperm count, thinning the mucous in the cervix for easy sperm penetration and complications from using chemical lubricants. You can find some of these problems solved on sites such as Mother Nature – which gives natural solutions to these concerns.
www.MotherNature.com Another serious problem that occasionally occurs is an ectopic37 pregnancy, in which the fertilized egg implants into the fallopian tubes, ovary, abdomen or cervix. This type of pregnancy is indicated with severe abdominal pain and cannot be ignored without risking the life of the mother. The child cannot survive or develop outside of the womb and so ectopic pregnancies are
The uterus is also known as the “womb”. It is the growing place for the newly conceived little person and will be the new little person’s home until birth. 37 Ectopic means “out of place”. An ectopic pregnancy is one in which the egg implants outside of the uterus.
as tragic as miscarriage. When the egg implants into a fallopian tube, the tube is surgically removed and the procedure consequently reduces the woman’s ability to conceive. When the egg implants in another part of the woman’s organs, again it is surgically removed to preserve the mother’s life. Any severe abdominal pain while you are trying to conceive should be medically attended to so you can assure you do not have a medical emergency.
3.7 How To Plan Conception
If you are on birth control pills, you will need to plan to get off of them and begin to prepare your body for conception. Some general good sense plays into planning a conception such as stopping all of the toxic things you currently take into your body. Get your body cleaned out and up and begin to take extra good care of it. Here are some reference resources to help you plan your conception: 1. http://www.conceptionkit.com/s-16-conception-planning-wheel.aspx 2. http://www.ivillage.co.uk/pregnancyandbaby/fertility/conception/articles/0,,4_163693 ,00.html 3. http://www.pregnancy-period.com/pregnancy_planning.html
3.8 Sperm Fertilizing An Egg
3.81 Full-term Pregnancy
4 First Trimester
The first trimester is the most fragile time in the pregnancy. It is the first three months of your pregnancy. Many women do not know in the first month or two that they are pregnant, so it is important to take care of yourself from the moment you find out.
4.1 Symptoms & Remedies
Missing your period, tiredness and tenderness in your breasts are some of the earliest symptoms of pregnancy which occur in the first trimester. There is nothing to do about these symptoms other than make sure you are taking good care of yourself by eating well and sleeping when you are tired. You may also notice some swelling in your hands and feet or morning sickness during this early stage of your pregnancy. Swelling in the hands and feet can be best remedied by common sense steps such as changing your footwear and elevating your feet above your heart while you sit or lay down. If the swelling is fluid related, you can reduce it by drinking a home remedy of a honey and vinegar drink – 2 Tablespoons of honey and 2 Tablespoons of Apple Cider vinegar in 8 to 10 ounces of filtered water. This mixture will work as a diuretic38 and causes your body to expel excess water [you will pee a lot]. If you have some difficulty keeping down certain foods or feel as if you will lose your food, then you will want to wash your face with an ice cube and keep cool air blowing in or around your face. If your nausea is too severe or too frequent, your doctor can prescribe an anti-nausea syrup or tablet. A small percentage of women experience light bleeding or spotting in the first trimester, especially in the first month. Spotting is a light smudge of blood that almost looks like a minor cut or scrape; bleeding has a more menstrual appearance and is more severe. If you spot or bleed in your first trimester, you will want to immediately get off of your feet, do no walking that is not a life necessity [eating and potty], do not stand for a long period [such as cooking or shopping], and make sure to lift nothing at all. If you bleed at all in your first trimester, it is best to see your doctor immediately as this could be a sign of fetal stress or miscarriage.
4.2 First Trimester Weight Gain & Diet Changes
A diuretic is any combination of natural chemicals or foods that act with the body’s fluid systems to help speed up the process of eliminating excess water or bodily fluids. A diuretic will help reduce swelling and increase your visits to the bathroom. All natural mineral water is another effective diuretic that is safe for pregnancy.
In healthy women the normal weight gain for the first trimester is 3 to 5 pounds. If you gain 10 pounds or more, your doctor will put you under medical care for the remainder of the pregnancy because your baby could be at risk, especially toward the end of the pregnancy. The vitamin B, folic acid, is especially important in the first trimester of pregnancy. You will want to buy foods, such as orange juice, that are folic acid enriched as well as pump up your supplemental vitamin B intake. Folic acid is instrumental in preventing spinal cord birth defects and will help to make your baby’s formative structures strong. The first trimester is when you also want to make sure your doctor prescribes a strong prenatal vitamin for you and your baby. If you have not done so prior to your pregnancy, then you will want to solicit your doctor’s prescription strength prenatal vitamin care. In your daily diet, you will want to eliminate junk foods, snacks with high sugar content and soda pops. You will want to especially eliminate diet sodas which may contain Aspartame®39. In the United States, Aspartame® is still legal and a part of the regular content in diet sodas even though it has been linked to brain cancer in children40. In general, you will want to change to a very healthy and well balanced diet. A diet high in greens such as spinach and turnips will help to keep your iron level up and the baby’s nutrition in balance. This is also a good time to eat fresh fish, such as salmon, to help your baby’s brain development. Pediatricians know the correlation between brain development and fish consumption, so it is wisdom to begin to fill your diet with fresh fish.
4.3 Risks & Things To Avoid In First Trimester
Most of what I have included in this list is food/habit related because what you put into your body in the first trimester impacts your unborn child so dramatically. Foods/comforts to avoid include: 1. Any food that contains Aspartame® - More foods contain this poison than you realize. You will want to begin reading your food labels if you do not already.
Aspartame is a synthetic chemical “sweetener” that is frequently added to foods and drinks, especially those that are labeled “low fat” or “sugar free”. 40 For more information on the toxicity of Aspartame, go to: http://www.holisticmed.com/aspartame/ or for video and additional information, go to: http://www.aspartamekills.com/
2. Hot dogs – Especially the cheaper brands, but even the more expensive ones. These are made with chemicals similar to what is contained in Aspartame® and are linked to brain cancer in infants and children41. 3. Peanut butter – Unless the peanut butter is completely “natural” with the peanut oil standing and with no additional fats or chemicals added, then you are poisoning your unborn child. 4. Soda pop – Besides being high in sugars which are not good for your new baby, the carbonation sucks out your own supply of calcium in your bones and the sugars clog your kidneys jeopardizing the success of your pregnancy. 5. Caffeine – The best reason to avoid this is because it is addictive to your unborn child. It is also a stimulant and may contribute to problems later in child development. 6. Cigarettes – The nicotine is completely addictive to your new baby and can cause a miscarriage in the first trimester especially. 7. Alcoholic drinks – It is best to eliminate all drinking from your daily habits. Even if it’s a small amount, it will not help in the first trimester. 8. Excessive exercise – This is especially true for any exercise that is strenuous to the lower half of your body. Running, jogging, aerobics are all no-no’s in the first trimester.
5 Second Trimester
The second trimester is often called the “fun trimester” because you begin to relax and enjoy your pregnancy. The second three months is a time of planning, picking out décor and paint. In the end of the fourth month your doctor will conduct a sonogram to check on the baby and verify its gender. Then let the shopping fun begin!
5.1 Symptoms & Remedies
For most women, the second trimester is usually quite enjoyable with very few symptoms or concerns. There are a few things to adjust to in your day to day activities, but nothing real inhibiting. In many ways, the second trimester is a nice reprieve in which you get to enjoy your pregnancy and planning for your new arrival. One thing that is noticeably different is your physical condition and sex drive. Let’s just say it’s stepped up a bit and you and your hubby are likely to enjoy more intimacy during this time than
For further reading on the medical research linked to this claim, read Kevin Trudeau’s book entitled, Natural Cures They Don’t Want You To Know About.
you did earlier in the pregnancy or than you will later on. Reasons for this vary, but mostly it is because your hormones continue to jump almost off of the scale and you and your hubby have become settled into the notion of being pregnant. Another concern will be your changing physical size and the awkwardness of adjusting everything to your new size. If you drive a car, you will want to begin to place your seatbelt under your belly instead of across it. The reason is that if you were impacted in an auto accident, the strap across your belly could sever the placenta and place the baby in immediate danger perhaps causing you to lose the baby. You may want to check with your auto mechanic also concerning your airbag. During the fourth month of my pregnancy I had my mechanic take the airbag’s fuse out of the fuse box so that it would be disengaged. My reasoning was that if an airbag can kill a small baby, then it would probably kill my unborn baby if it hit me in the stomach on impact. Of course, this is NOT medical or legal advice and you will have to weigh the facts surrounding airbags to make your own decision about this idea. Lastly, another symptom or concern you may encounter during the second trimester is the increasing size of your belly and how you sleep. If you are a tummy sleeper, this will suddenly become impossible for you and you may find yourself very uncomfortable at night. This is especially true if you cannot easily sleep on your back. Alternatively, you may choose to sleep on your side. Be sure to sleep on your left side rather than your right side if you sleep on your side at all. The reason for sleeping on your left side has to do with fetal development and the blood flow to the fetus. Your baby will actually receive more oxygen and nutrition when you lie on your left side rather than your right side. Sleeping on your left side also increases the blood flow to your heart as well making both mother and child happier and healthier.
5.2 Second Trimester Weight Gain & Diet Changes
Second trimester weight gain will become noticeable and you will want to take care not to overeat. However, between 10 and 15 pounds is a normal amount of weight to gain during the second trimester. The better your physical condition going into the pregnancy, the less you are likely to gain. Keep in mind that you do not want to scrimp on your eating or provisions. Forget dieting until after the baby comes. At the same time, if you are anything like me and craving a particular food, try to take care of your craving with a sense of moderation. Your doctor will notice when you have overindulged your craving and you may be chastised for it if it causes you to tip above the normal weight gain range for your build and fitness.
You will also notice more of a tendency to gain weight during this time. You may also experience more swelling of the hands and feet. Some of this will occur because you are indeed gaining weight with the baby. Some of it will be fluid related and you will do well to keep your system filled with natural diuretic types of foods. Fruits are especially good for shaking the fluid out of your system. Watermelon, grapefruit and oranges are especially good for it. The second trimester is extremely important to the baby’s development and overall health. Your baby will be strong and healthy if you balance your food types and make sure to include foods such as spinach, salmon or other fresh fish, plenty of nuts and fruits, and lots of freshly prepared vegetables. You are eating for two, so don’t skimp on the number of servings you are supposed to have of fruits and veggies each day. If this becomes hard to accomplish, consider buying a juicer which will make it easier to get the high number of servings each day.
5.3 Risks & Things To Avoid In Second Trimester
Nausea and the treatment of it are about the same in the second trimester although for most women the morning sickness drops off in the second trimester. If you are especially prone to vomiting, you may want to consult your doctor for an oral medication to help prevent nausea. This is important because your baby needs the food you are taking in and doesn’t need you to be puking it back up and starving him. During the second trimester you may notice increase in back pain due to a growing baby putting extra weight and demand on your back. For this reason, you do not need to lift anything heavier than a gallon jug of milk [about 6 pounds]. Most doctors agree this is a safe amount of weight and the most you should lift because it is similar to your soon-to-be newborn’s weight. If you experience an increase in headaches or if you have a sudden or waking headache, it is best to contact your doctor rather than self-medicate. Taking traditional headache medicines are not recommended because the pregnancy changes your vulnerability to medical complications. If your headaches persist, have your doctor prescribe a safe medicine for you. You may also try a cup of coffee as the caffeine in one cup may be enough to relieve you. Miscarriage in the second trimester is most commonly attributed to one of these circumstances: cervical problems; prenatal testing; and placenta separation. Remember to go to your doctor appointments during this trimester because these risks can be checked and most times avoided.
6 Third Trimester
The last trimester is the home stretch for your pregnancy. Many changes happen that prepare you for labor and delivery, and anything can happen.
6.1 Symptoms & Remedies
One of the most obvious symptoms you will have entering into the third trimester is that you will notice significant increase in the baby’s physical activity inside your belly. This activity is commonly called “kicking” because in many ways it feels like your organs, ribs and belly are being kicked by the little one inside. You will be able to see more and more clearly your baby’s moves especially when he changes positions. In my own pregnancy, I could tell when my baby was done snacking on my favorite Italian food by watching my belly change shapes. He would literally stick his bottom end out as if to curl up to sleep after a good meal and my belly would suddenly become elongated and stretched out straight in front of me. You will notice a lot more discomfort as your little one stretches his arms and legs inside of you. Some of the discomfort is from a literal impact of his little hand or foot on your body’s organs. Your intestines and kidneys and liver get moved around inside of you and when your baby becomes very active in the last trimester, it will be both a blessing and a shock for you. Another change in your body that will become more and more a discomfort is sex. Toward the end of the third trimester, you may find it difficult to enjoy sex with your partner even though you may want to. Your belly will be so large that he may even find it scary. Some men become averse to sex during this time because they feel like the little one is in on the act or watching somehow. Of course, this is not true, but you should not discount the importance of your partner’s feelings. The solution to both your baby kicking and the awkwardness of sex is delivery. Until your baby is born there is no real getting past these concerns. It is no longer just about you; now it is about you, your spouse and your baby and it will forever forward be about the three of you. As you begin to expand tremendously during the third trimester, your body will feel the impact of it. Most noticeably will be your ever increasingly itchy skin. You may notice itchy skin around your nipples and the smaller parts of your breast [area around the nipples]. You will likely notice a tremendous itching on your tummy and on the bottom side of your bottom where your legs come into your buttocks.
Almost all women have tummy itches and many have the bottom and the breast itches as well. The sudden itching is your skin stretching. This is the time when your skin stretches the most to accommodate the baby and the time when stretch marks are created. As I indicated earlier, my own remedy for the skin itching was to apply virgin olive oil to my itchy parts right after my morning shower and right before bed at night. Olive oil is not the most aromatic thing you can apply to your body, but it seriously lubricates your skin so that the skin does not tear or “stretch”. The olive oil is better than 99.9% of all skin medicines sold in the grocery store or over the counter drug store. If there is a better remedy for itchy skin in pregnancy, I have not read about it, heard about it from anyone or personally discovered it. One other detail to note about the olive oil: if you gain a tremendous amount of weight during the second trimester, then begin applying the olive oil during that time rather than waiting for the last trimester. Significant weight gain = stretch marks unless you do something about it.
6.2 Third Trimester Weight Gain & Diet Changes
The most weight you will gain in pregnancy will be in your third trimester. This is because the baby’s development from the sixth month on is preparing him for delivery and independent living. Your doctor will likely monitor your weight gain throughout the pregnancy and will chastise you somewhat if you gain too quickly. The doctor’s main concern is the health of the baby; his second concern is your health. If you gain too much too quickly, then you can throw your body into pregnancy diabetes and other complications that doctors prefer to avoid is possible. Many of these complications can be avoided or controlled with the control of your weight. Generally speaking it is normal to gain up to 15 or 20 pounds during the last trimester assuming you have had a modest and healthy weight gain up to that point. If you are particularly athletic, then you will likely not gain as much in the first two trimesters because of your exercise habits and your body’s metabolism. The more sedentary you are before pregnancy, the more likely you will have weight concerns during the pregnancy. The more active you are before in your everyday lifestyle before conception, the better your weight will be controlled and the better you will lose your baby weight after pregnancy. Regardless of which end of the lifestyle spectrum you enter into pregnancy from, your doctor will closely monitor your weight gain and your baby during the last trimester. While it is not wise to try to eliminate your weight gain during this trimester, your doctor will advise you that the less overall weight you gain in your pregnancy, the easier your delivery will be. 30
You will want to increase your intake of calcium and iron during the third trimester to help build the baby’s bones and your strength for delivery. You will also want to increase your protein intake, particularly meats, eggs and other high protein foods because your baby will have increased brain activity and muscle development. Fresh fish is also a good source of protein during this trimester because it is widely known to help brain development.
6.3 Labor And Delivery
Labor and delivery is different for every woman and different for every pregnancy. If a woman has 5 children, every one of her L&D experiences will be unique. For this reason, it is only possible to briefly cover all of the variables that can happen during your delivery in this section. I will introduce you to some facts and terms that are specific to labor and delivery with some brief definitions. Detailed learning of each of these ideas/facts is something you should seek at a local source or ask your doctor where you can take a class. Labor and delivery terms you will want to learn and know more about before going into labor: Braxton Hicks – These are uterine contractions that begin as early as 6 weeks into your pregnancy and can sporadically occur up until just before delivery. They are known as “false labor”, but they are painful just the same.
Epidural – The epidural is injection of pain medicine given into the spine at the time of labor to help ease the pain of your contractions. It will not numb you, but it will help to make the pain tolerable. Episiotomy – The episiotomy is a deliberate cut made by the doctor at the base of the vagina to help ease delivery and to prevent tearing. After delivery the doctor sews up the cut so that the entrance to your vagina is not permanently enlarged. Perineal tears – Perineal tears happen when you have not properly exercised your Kegel muscles, have not properly pushed during delivery, or when the delivery becomes stressed. Doctors prefer episiotomies to tears because they can control the enlargement. Perineal tears can be severe even tearing the anus. Signs of labor – Signs of labor include uterine contractions or back pain that increases in increments; the “breaking water” or the placenta42 dumping embryonic fluid down your legs; and dilation of the cervix beyond 3 cm. Spinal block for pain – This is different that the epidural because it totally blocks the pain. This procedure is less common today. Acupuncture43 – A professional acupuncturist or Chinese doctor can administer pain blocking acupuncture during labor. This is a common practice in alternative medicine and with people who deliver at home with midwives. C-sections – In some countries the Cesarean section is routinely performed for the doctor or the woman’s convenience. In most countries it is considered a secondary form of delivery and not preferred to natural birth. Cesarean sections involve cutting your stomach along your panty line, through to the uterus and delivering the baby nonvaginally. This procedure is often life saving for babies who are breach44 at the time of labor or who have the umbilical cord45 wrapped around their throats threatening to choke them to death before birth. Kegel exercises – These are birthing exercises that will help you during delivery and will help you to prevent vaginal tearing. If you think of what you would do if you were trying to hold your bowels in during an imminent bowel movement, then you will identify the muscle set that you will exercise. Kegel exercises can be done anywhere and discretely just by pressing those muscles together and letting them relax; repeat.
The placenta is the uterine sack that the baby develops inside of during pregnancy. When the placenta water runs down your legs, your baby is at the birth canal. 43 Acupuncture is the administration of tiny needles into the energy channels of the body and is based on ancient eastern wisdom and eastern medicine. 44 A breached baby is one that is positioned bottom down rather than head down at the time of delivery. 45 The umbilical cord is the food line from the mother to the baby; it is the source of your belly button.
Home births/Midwives – The younger you are and the fewer health issues you have, the more likely you can safely birth at home with a midwife. This is a very personal decision that should be made considering your age, health, your spouse and his participation level, and any health risks that you may have or develop during the pregnancy.
P.S: Want to know more about pregnancy? Get “Ultimate Pregnancy Secrets: A powerful week by week guide including vital breastfeeding information, pregnancy nutrition, conception, ovulation, pregnancy diet, and pregnancy workouts for a healthy, safe and joyful pregnancy” from http://www.pregnancy-secrets.com. P.P.S: Get this book NOW to enjoy a special discount. Trial and error is now way to go through pregnancy.
1. From the authors of the original feminist health manual OurBodies Ourselves, http://www.ourbodiesourselves.org 2. Fertility & Conception: The Complete Guide To Getting Pregnant, West, Zita © 2003; DK Publishing, Inc., New York, NY; ISBN #0-7894-9690-9 3. Understanding Pregnancy and Childbirth, Cherry, Sheldon H. and Moss, Douglas G. ©2004; John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, NJ; ISBN #0-471-47120-8 4. Pea in a Pod: Your Complete Guide To Pregnancy, Childbirth & Beyond, Goldberg, Linda ©2009; Square One Publishers, Garden City Park, NY; ISBN #978-07570-0181-9 5. The Joy of Pregnancy, Kropp, Tori ©2008; The Harvard Common Press, Boston, MA; ISBN #978-1-55832-306-3 6. Pregnancy Q&A: Authoritative and Reassuring Answers to the Questions on Your Mind, Booth, Trish ©2004; Meadowbrook Press, Minnetonka, MN; ISBN #088166-476-6
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