Week 17: Time to think about avoiding induction of labor. Generally, it's healthiest for both mother and baby if you wait for labor to begin on its own.

BirthWatch Tips
  • Time to start thinking about what childbirth preparation classes will fit you best. It's best to take a comprehensive series that includes breastfeeding, postpartum care and newborn care. Try to find independent classes offered outside your hospital for the most evidence-based and least biased approach. Lamaze International
  • Have you thought about taking an early pregnancy class to help you understand and navigate your prenatal choices? Check the class offerings of your local birth centers, midwife offices and birth doulas in your area. Some hospitals, baby boutiques and even Babies R Us will offer general education classes to newly pregnant women. Education! When you know better, you do better. (Maya Angelou) Lamaze International
  • Letting your body go into labor spontaneously is almost always the best way to know that your baby is ready to be born and that your body is ready for labor. Every day of the last weeks of pregnancy is vital to your baby's and body's preparation for birth. Lamaze International
  • Walk, move around and change positions throughout labor. Moving in labor serves two very important purposes. First, it helps you cope with increasingly strong and painful contractions, which signals your body to keep labor going. Second, it helps gently wiggle your baby into your pelvis and through your birth canal. (Lamaze International) Lamaze International
  • Bring a loved one, friend or doula for continuous support. Studies show that women who have good emotional support during childbirth feel better about themselves and their babies throughout labor and into the postpartum period. Lamaze International
  • Avoid medical interventions that are not medically necessary. Low-risk, healthy women do not require IVs or continuous monitoring to have healthy babies. Lamaze International
  • Avoid giving birth on your back and follow your body's urges to push. Current evidence shows that letting you assume whatever position you find most comfortable, encouraging you to push in response to what you feel, and letting you push as long as you and your baby are doing well are all beneficial practices. (Lamaze International) Lamaze International

Tips for Week 16

Tips for Week 18

BirthWatch Recommends:

Ina May's Guide to Childbirth

Yes, doulas wax poetic about Ina May's books. There is good reason. She knows what she's talking about. Just go check out the reviews on Amazon and buy this book (or get on the wait list at your local library).

See All Reading Recommendations For the Second Trimester