Saturday, March 19, 2011

The Things They Don't Tell You, part 3

As I finish up the last two parts of "The Things They Don't Tell You," I'll be transitioning to things more related to the end of the third trimester, labor & delivery and the postpartum period. I have a feeling there are more of these things than of the others!

21) All pregnant bellies aren't cute. Some of them grow in odd ways and you end up looking more like there's a pointy watermelon under your shirt rather than a basketball.

22) Too much physical activity can cause contractions towards the end. They may just be braxton-hicks, but they'll leave you feeling on the edge of your seat until they go away (or until you've wasted several hours and labor & delivery, only to be told you're not in labor).

23) If you think you're in labor, call the doctor. If it's past regular business hours, call labor & delivery (L&D) and talk to a nurse. They may decide you need to come in and be monitored.

24) There's a good possibility you'll think you're in labor several times before you really are. I took at least two trips to L&D before I was actually induced with my first.

25) Your water does not have to break for you to be in labor. Don't wait for it to break if your contractions are coming regularly and close together.

26) The larger you grow with pregnancy, the harder it becomes to breathe as your lungs become constricted.

27) Severe swelling is something that needs to be reported to your doctor. It can be a sign of things like preeclampsia.

28) When the doctor checks your cervix to see if you're dilated or effaced, it will hurt--particularly when you're not very far along in the process.

29) After the doctor checks you, some spotting is normal. If you feel it's excessive, call your doctor's office.

30) You're probably not going to deliver on your due date. I, for example, had to be induced at 37 weeks with my first because of preeclampsia, but there are many women who go to 41 or 42 weeks before they go into labor or are induced. I hate to bring out the negatives, but you should be prepared for whatever happens.

There will be at least one more post in this series in the upcoming week. Stay tuned!

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