Week 23: Time to think about asking to hear your friends' birth stories.

BirthWatch Tips
  • Experts now recommend that right after birth, a healthy newborn should be placed skin-to-skin on the mother's abdomen or chest and should be dried and covered with warm blankets. Any care that needs to be done immediately after birth can be done with your baby skin-to-skin on your chest. As midwife Ina May Gaskin says, you're entitled to "keep your prize." Lamaze International
  • Try changing your shoes several times a day if you find your feet hurting and consider wearing support hose if you need to stand for long periods of the day.
  • Swelling in your ankles can be alleviated with support stockings and frequent elevation of the legs.
  • You might find that many women want to tell you their pregnancy and birth experiences. Women retain the memories of the pregnancies and births in vivid detail for the rest of their lives.
  • If you have round ligament pain, a sharp or pulling sensation on one side of your lower belly when you twist, bend, or reach, get into the habit of moving a little slower and supporting your belly with your hands when you move from sitting or laying down. Moist heat from a heating pad or rice sock can also help relax the ligaments that are causing pain. BabyCenter.com
  • Listen to your body and follow it's lead. If you're tired, rest. If you're hungry, eat. Try to really listen to your body's signals: Do you want a fresh pear, a tall glass of milk, or a tuna fish sandwich? Those cravings often mean your body needs that essential nutrient.
  • Social support during pregnancy and especially early parenthood is vitally important to your mental health and emotional well-being. During pregnancy, it's a good idea to widen your social network with women who understand what you're going through and what you'll need during the postpartum period.

Tips for Week 22

Tips for Week 24

BirthWatch Recommends:

Birthing From Within: An Extra-Ordinary Guide to Childbirth Preparation

Yes this book was first published in 1998, but it's one of the best out there addressing the spirituality of giving birth. Birthing From Within offers concrete exercises for mentally and emotionally coping with labor pain. This is a classic (even if it's on the woo woo side of things). If you've been all left brain oriented about your pregnancy and childbirth up to this point, give this book a try. You'll likely find it quite soothing and comforting.

See All Reading Recommendations For the Second Trimester