Everything You Need to Know Before You Give Birth

Preparing for Your Delivery Date

As you continue to prepare for the arrival of your little bundle of joy, it's important to arm yourself with accurate information to help you care for you and your baby. We're here to help.

What Happens During Each Trimester

When you’re planning to expand your family, it's important to know what to expect throughout each stage of your pregnancy. Pregnancy is divided into three trimesters, which mark specific fetal development milestones over the span of 40 weeks. Here's what you should know.

First Trimester (0-13 Weeks)

The first trimester of your pregnancy is when most of the fetal development occurs. Although your baby bump may not be showing yet, now is when your baby’s organ systems and body structure are forming. This is also when your body begins to form the amniotic sac, placenta, and the umbilical cord to deliver nutrients to your little one.

Second Trimester (14-26 Weeks)

The second trimester is often the least uncomfortable phase of pregnancy, as the early symptoms have most likely subsided as your body adjusts to its new hormone levels. During this phase, the fetus will begin to resemble a newborn baby. You will also be able to hear their heartbeat with a stethoscope.

Third Trimester (27-40 Weeks)

During the third and final trimester of your pregnancy, the fetus is finishing organ system development and increasing in size. Because your baby is continuing to grow, you may feel increased discomfort as well as Braxton Hicks contractions as you get closer to your delivery date.

Pain Management During Labor and Delivery

As your delivery date draws nearer, it is important to consider how you’d prefer to manage your labor and delivery pain. From natural birth to general anesthesia, there is the perfect solution for every mother-to-be. Here’s what you should know about some of the most common pain management techniques used during labor and delivery.

Non-Interventional or Low-Interventional

There has been an increased interest in natural or low-interventional pain management methods in recent years. For expectant mothers who are full-term and have a low-risk pregnancy, this is a viable option. With non-interventional or natural methods, no medication is used; instead, alternative methods of pain relief. Some alternative methods of pain management may include:

  • Using a birthing ball
  • Relaxation techniques like deep breathing and music therapy
  • Aromatherapy
  • Massages
  • Taking a warm bath or shower
  • Yoga

With low-interventional methods, small amounts of medication can be used in tandem with non-medication methods.

Nitrous Oxide

Nitrous Oxide is frequently used during labor to ease anxiety symptoms; however, it does not eliminate pain. This tasteless and odorless gas is mixed with oxygen and administered through a mask; the mother-to-be holds the mask herself and determines when and how much of gas she inhales.

Epidural

An epidural is the most commonly used form of pain management used during childbirth in the United States. An anesthesiologist administers medication through a needle that is inserted into the spine.

An epidural gives an immediate feeling of numbness from the bellybutton down to the upper legs, allowing you to remain alert throughout your labor and delivery. With this medication, pressure can still be felt, which allows you to push when necessary.

General Anesthesia

General anesthesia is the only type of pain management option used during labor and delivery that makes you lose consciousness. With this option, you will not be awake during delivery. Typically, this option is used when an emergency c-section is deemed medically necessary.

Taking Care of Your Newborn

Whether you’re a first-time parent or you’re expanding your family, it can be intimidating bringing your newborn baby home. Here are some tips that can help you

Baby Sleeping Safety Tips

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is the leading cause of death among infants between one month and one year of age, with most SIDS deaths happening in babies 2 to 4 months old. Follow these tips to help keep your little one sleeping safe and sound.

  • Lay your baby on their back. This reduces the risk of rebreathing and airway obstruction.
  • Keep their crib free of blankets and soft toys. This also reduces the risk of rebreathing and suffocation.
  • Co-sleep with your baby, but in a different bed. This can reduce the risk of SIDS by up to 50%.

Care Seat Safety

The best way to keep your child safe on the road is to use a car seat. Here are some tips to help protect your little one while you’re out and about.

Getting the Correct Seat

While there are many different brands to choose from, please note that all car seats marketed and sold in the United States meet federal safety standards and are safe for your little one. There are three main types of car seats to choose from:

  • Rear-facing: This seat is usually suitable for babies between 5 and 40 pounds.
  • Forward-facing: When your child outgrows the height or weight limits for the rear-facing seat or reaches the age of 2, they should now be using a forward-facing seat with a harness.
  • Booster seat: Once your little one has outgrown the forward-facing seat in height or weight, a booster seat is now suitable. This seat lifts your child so that the safety belt fits their body correctly.
Properly Installing Your Car Seat

When you get a new car seat, you want to ensure that the seat is installed in your car properly. Each car seat is made differently, making it important that you read the user manual to ensure you install your car seat securely.

If you’d like assistance installing your car seat, you can have a professional install your seat for you. At Good Samaritan, you can make an appointment with one of our Certified Passenger Safety Technicians (CPST) to assist you.

Properly Fitting the Harness

Each type of car seat is different when it comes to how their harness or safety belt should fit. For both forward and rear-facing car seats, a 5-point harness should be used. For booster seats, your car’s cross-body safety belt should be used.

Obstetrics in Vincennes, IN

At Good Samaritan, we offer comprehensive care for women who are starting or growing a family. Because a mother’s health is critical to the health of her baby and family, your doctor and our highly trained nursing staff will combine the latest technology and treatments with sensitivity and individualized care. To learn more about our women's health services, call us today at 812-885-8500.