Week 21: Time to think about taking care of your leg circulation, especially if you stand for most of the day. Good support stockings can help.

BirthWatch Tips
  • Oxytocin is the hormone that makes your uterus contract during labor. Oxytocin is also released during sex, orgasm, breastfeeding and sharing a meal. Oxytocin is what makes you feel in love. It reduces stress, enhances nutrient absorption and conserves energy by making us feel sleepy.
  • Beta-endorphins are your natural opiates and are released during labor when you feel pain and stress. High levels of endorphins cause feelings of pleasure and euphoria. In labor, a woman's beta-endorphins equal that of male endurance athletes during maximal exercise on a treadmill. Ecstatic Birth
  • If you have a job where you are on your feet all day, it may make sense to begin wearing support stockings to help prevent varicose veins.
  • Prolactin is the hormone that helps make breastmilk. It's also called the parenting hormone. Did you know that both mothers and father's Prolactin levels increase when they hear their baby cry? Ecstatic Birth
  • 85% of all babies are born between 39 - 41 weeks.
  • Take care of yourself during pregnancy so you begin labor in the best possible health. Exercise in moderation and eat well. Seek prenatal care to help you detect and manage any health problems that may arise. March of Dimes
  • Some signs that let you know labor is approaching are: Soft bowel movements or diarrhea, nausea, backache, low abdominal or menstrual like cramps, bloody show or leaking amniotic fluid. If you see these signs before 37 weeks, call your care provider right away to prevent premature labor. Pregnancy, Childbirth and the Newborn

Tips for Week 20

Tips for Week 22

BirthWatch Recommends:

Deliver This!: Make the Childbirth Choice That's Right for You..No Matter What Everyone Else Thinks

I'm a huge fan of this book. By using story telling and offering women's viewpoints from across the spectrum of choices and experiences, Marisa Cohen helps women understand WHY women make the choices they do. If you find yourself flat-out confused by why some women intend on birthing in a certain way, give this book a read and take a walk in someone else's shoes to understand their choices.

See All Reading Recommendations For the Second Trimester