Third Trimester | Fit Pregnancy

Third Trimester

Labor Day Special

It's the end of the summer and the beginning of the holiday season. It's Labor Day. I'll bet those of you due in August or September and still pregnant are saying, "Bring it on, baby. Let's get this party started." Here's the problem, though. Labor Day's a holiday (a national tribute to all of us worker-bees out here who keep the world running) and very few hospitals are going to schedule non-medically indicated inductions on a holiday. That means you're going to have to go into labor on your own if you're going to make Labor Day your baby's birthday. Good luck, Ladies.

Rock and Roll, Baby

Yahoo! An email from a man. I know you guys are out there and I know you read your wife/partner's Fit Pregnancy magazine or log on to the website when she's not looking but not many of you email me. Thanks Richard. Richard's fiancé can't get out of bed. She's heading into her final month of pregnancy and their baby is riding high in the ribcage. She's gotten so uncomfortable that rolling over and standing up in the morning is a big ordeal. Eventually, her baby wiggles down a bit and she hoists herself out but she's struggling. I'll bet. I remember it well.

Leaking, Tearing, Saving and Thanking

I've gotten some great questions this week. Readers want to know the nitty gritty about this whole labor and pregnancy thing. I love it. Brooke wants to know the difference between normal discharge and amniotic fluid. Bo wants to know if tearing or episiotomy is better and whether women should shave or wax for exams and "the big event." Danielle had no idea how important her labor nurse would be in providing emotional and medical support in labor and now that she's expecting baby number two, wants to know how to thank the nurses.

Save the Date

So, when's that baby due? How many months along are you? Why did your ultrasound pick a different date? When is the baby old enough for induction? Are some women really pregnant for 10 months? These aren't always easy questions to answer. Readers want clarification on nailing down the due date, which is especially important when scheduling inductions.

The good, the bad and the ugly

As I was getting a patient ready for an induction this morning, she asked, "How bad is labor, really?" That's a classic question, ladies. "Bad" means, painful, scary, messy and gross. "Really" means, "come on, tell it to me straight—I can take it." OK, here it is, straight up. Most women find labor to be the most painful experience they've ever been through. On a scale of one to ten, one being almost no pain and ten being the most possible most will tell you that labor (before an epidural) becomes a ten.

Finding Dr. Right

Locating a great pediatrician can take time and patience, so it’s a good idea to start while you are still pregnant. Considering that this potentially is the person who will guide your child’s care for the next 18 years, the effort is well worth it.

Baby Bump Etiquette Check

More often than not, you'll find that a protruding belly incites unsolicited comments and advice, unwanted touches (especially the infamous “belly pats”) and the telling of pregnancy war stories by other mothers who’ve “been there.” But just because you’re about to be a mom doesn’t mean you’re not entitled to set personal boundaries, says Ginger Gabriel, Ph.D., a family therapist in Lake Gregory, Calif. Here are some tips to help you make it through these 40 weeks with grace.

Say What?

Prevention of a Premature Birth Starts Early

Most pregnant women assume their babies will arrive right around their due date, give or take a week or so. Although that’s usually the case, a growing number of babies are being born prematurely, at fewer than 37 weeks gestation. Between 1981 and 2001, there was a 27 percent increase, to about 476,000 births per year.  Currently, premature births in the United States account for 1 of every 8 births, according to the CDC.   
   

Born Too Soon

When Karen Dressler went in for a routine ultrasound in her 26th week of pregnancy, she expected nothing but great news. The Manhattan Beach, Calif., nursing director was pregnant with her first baby and felt terrific. But her doctor found that Dressler’s uterus contained excessive amniotic fluid and that she was having 15 barely perceptible contractions an hour. Dressler was ordered to bed and given medications to try to stop her contractions and to reduce the amount of fluid.

Do You Need A Doula?

Wouldn’t it be great if someone you trust volunteered to be on hand — even sleep on your couch — in case you went into labor in the middle of the night? What if that same person offered to walk in the woods with you in the last weeks of your pregnancy or adjusted her vacation plans to be with you during your baby’s birth?

My doula (pronounced doo-lah), Sue Ann Higgens, did all this and more when I was expecting my first child.

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