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:

Birth Day: A Pediatrician Explores the Science, the History, and the Wonder of Childbirth

This was my favorite childbirth-related book of 2009. Here's a unique take on childbirth from a pediatrician's eyes focused on the results of childbirth. Dr. Sloan's writing is scientific, anecdotal, and hugely reverant toward the act of childbirth and the experience for both care provider, parent and child.

See All Reading Recommendations For the Second Trimester