Getting ready for labor and deliver
By this time, the couple is now working to prepare themselves for becoming parents. As the stages of pregnancy week by week increases, the couple begins to demonstrate “nesting” behaviors, such as preparing the baby’s room, shopping for necessary baby items and discussing names. The couple may attend childbirth education classes and may review relationships with their own parents and engage in role-playing and fantasizing about being a parent.
The final stages of pregnancy involve focusing on the baby. The baby development week by week involves with the organ development. The fetal movement which is usually felt first between 16 and 22 weeks of gestation and as pregnancy week by week increases the baby’s movement shows a consistent pattern which usually on the average of at least 10 times per day.
The fetal heart sounds (rate) which initially detected at 12 weeks of gestation using Doppler ultrasound can be auscultated prominently even using with a stethoscope at the final pregnancy stages. The normal fetal heart rate (FHR) ranges from 120 to 160 beats per minute.
Fetal crown-to-rump measurement which is determined by ultrasonography is prominent during the final stages of pregnancy week by week it becomes very imminent. It can be used to assess the fetus’s age until the head can be defined.
Maternal counseling about pregnancy and birth
The childbirth and parenthood education involves classes address the learning of the parents-to-be. The topics include prenatal care and birth planning, fetal growth and development, nutrition, stages of pregnancy, available birth settings and alternative methods of birth. The topics related to labor and birth is also discussed. The prenatal and abdominal exercises (beware of the abdominal separation), breathing exercises, comfort measures, such as anesthesia and analgesia, breastfeeding and postpartum care.
There are various methods used, including individual teaching and counseling, group discussion and classes, and facility tours presenting available options and services.
At the final stages of pregnancy, the pain management is a key area of childbirth education programs. The classes are also available for siblings and grandparents.
Danger signs to report immediately
As the stages of pregnancy week by week increases, the pregnant woman should be educated as well as her partner to identify the signs which needs to be reported. These signs are dangerous and it indicates a obstetrical or fetal complications:
- Severe vomiting;
- Frequent, severe headaches;
- Epigastric pain;
- Fluid discharge from vagina;
- Fetal movement changes or cessation after quickening;
- Swelling of the fingers or face;
- Vision disturbances;
- Signs of vaginal or urinary tract infection;
- Unusual or severe abdominal pain;
- Seizures or muscular irritability;
- Preterm signs of labor such as rhythmic contractions.
Dental care during pregnancy
In different pregnancy stages, a dental checkup is a routine examinations and cleaning are encouraged. Nausea and vomiting, heartburn, and bleeding of the gums may lead to poor oral hygiene and dental caries. The fetus receives calcium and phosphorus from the pregnant mother’s diet, not from her teeth. The belief that a pregnant mother loses a tooth for every pregnancy is a fallacy. As the pregnancy week by week progression involves nutritional state of the pregnant mother. Nutritious snacks, such as fruits and vegetables are recommended to avoid excessive contact of sugar with teeth.
Immunizations in various stages of pregnancy
Immunizations with attenuated live viruses (including mumps and rubella vaccines) should not be given during pregnancy because of their danger effect to the fetus. Vaccinations with killed viruses (including varicella, hepatitis, influenza, tetanus, and diphtheria vaccines) may be given during pregnancy. Pregnant mother should consider talking with her doctor before taking the vaccines. It is best for them to identify what is safe or not for their developing baby. Since the baby development varies on different pregnancy stages.
Proper clothing for mother in different stages in pregnancy
Clothes should not be non-constrictive. Low to mid heeled shoes are recommended to prevent backache and poor balance. At the third trimester, the balance of the mother changes because of the baby’s weight. Hence, her sense of postural balance is altered. The center of gravity changes which causes her to walk on swaybacked. This is very important since the pregnancy week by week increases the baby’s position also changes. This can lead to the increasing pressure at the lower part of the mother’s body.
Teachings about postnatal period
At the final stage of pregnancy, it is best for the pregnant mother to understand these topics before assuming the parenthood:
- Physiologic changes and psychosocial adaptation after delivery of the baby;
- Possible diagnostic procedure;
- Common complications after the delivery;
- Dangers signs of pregnancy related to labor process;
- Difference between true and false signs of labor;
- Self-care and health promotion;
- Nutritional requirement and appropriate food choices;
- Breast care and breastfeeding;
- Proper ways of performing newborn care;
- Danger signs for newborn babies.