Pregnancy is a very exciting time in a woman's life. But it can also be a time filled with questions and concerns.
Now that you know that you are pregnant, it's time to see a prenatal health care provider. But which one is right for you?
Take a look at Choosing a Prenatal Practitioner to understand how OB/GYNs, family doctors and midwives differ. No matter which of these practitioners you choose, though, all will offer you a multitude of prenatal tests over the course of your pregnancy to help make sure you and your baby are healthy.
A cordocentesis may be performed if your baby is in distress; this fetal blood sampling test has also been used to administer in utero treatment to fetuses with heart problems and other dire health conditions.
During early pregnancy, you may have some concerns about already existing health conditions and how you and your baby will be affected. For women with asthma, Asthma and Pregnancy will likely answer many of your questions, while Prozac and Pregnancy will be useful for those women using this common antidepressant. If you are HIV positive, or are infected with this virus during your pregnancy, be sure to learn how HIV can affect your pregnancy.
And if your pregnancy symtpoms seem really bad, then you may want to check to see if you're having twins or multiples.
There are a number of infections that a woman may contract during her pregnancy. Common Infections details a variety of illnesses and how they may affect you during pregnancy. One infection that woman are often cautioned of is toxoplasmosis.
Though the risk of catching the virus is low, there are a number of steps you can take to prevent having to deal with it at all. Other infections that pregnant women shold guard against include chickenpox, group B strep, and the parvovirus, also know as Fifth Disease.
One concern for all women is the risk of ectopic pregnancy. If you suspect that your pregnancy may be ectopic, it is important to seek treatment quickly. While generally effective, occasionally some women may require to have a repeat treatment.
False pregnancy is a condition in which a woman believes she is pregnant when she is really not. Learn more about this emotional and psychological condition here.
If you have been having troubles getting pregnant, you may want to be investigated for antiphospholipid syndrome. This syndrome can contribute to repeat miscarriages as well as increase a woman's risk of developing pre-eclampsia during pregnancy, a condition associated with hypertension.
Other complications that can develop during late pregnancy include a low-lying placenta and cervical incompetence. Having an incompetent cervix increases your risk of premature labour. Also increasing the risk for premature labour is PROM, or premature rupture of the membranes. At the other end of the spectrum, prolonged pregnancy can also be problematic making it necessary for health care professionals to induce labour.
Many women are worried about giving birth. Will it be painful? Is it safe to use pain medications? What if something goes wrong? Will you need a caesarean section?
Give yourself one less thing to worry over by using our labour checklist to make sure you have everything in order for the big day. And don't forget to check out Birthing Options, which explains all the choices you have when it comes to how and where to give birth.
Of course, creating a birth plan is one of the best ways to let your health care professionals know what you want on that special day.
Breech Babies will give you an idea of what to expect if your baby isn't in the head first position, while Pain Relief for Labour will help you better understand your choices of labour medications.
If you prefer not to use medications to deal with pain during labor, then you'll want to read Alternative Pain Management. One decision you may have to make once your baby is born is whether or not to administer vitamin K. Vitamin K for Newborns outlines the pros and cons of this treatment.
In addition to the complications a mother may experience during pregnancy, complications with your baby can also arise. This includes amniotic bands and sheets, single umbilical artery, and choroids plexus cysts.
One complication that can be tested for during pregnancy is Downs syndrome. The chances of your baby developing this disorder increases with maternal age. However, there are a number of birth defects that can be diagnosed during your pregnancy.
Though scary, knowing early on what to expect can help you prepare for that very special bundle that is arriving.
Not sure whether to breastfeed or bottle feed? Check out Bottle Feeding, which explains the pros and cons, and the ins and outs of feeding with formula. You'll also want to take a look at Breastfeeding, and all of the benefits it has for you and your baby.
Pregnancy and Dental Health
If you are pregnant, you should inform your dentist. This is because dental treatments are generally avoided for the duration of the pregnancy’s first trimester, as this is the period when both the expectant mother and the child in her womb are most susceptible to complications.
Want to chat with other moms-to-be? Check out our forum.