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Delivery 101: Everything You Need to Know Before the Big Day

Delivery 101: Everything You Need to Know Before the Big Day

What to Expect Before Labor & Delivery

Whether this is your first baby or a veteran mom, you may still find yourself having questions about pregnancy and delivery. Here's everything you should know as your delivery date draws near.

How Your Body Changes During Each Trimester

First Trimester

The first 12 weeks of pregnancy are the most crucial time when it comes to fetal development. Your body also goes through the most hormonal and physical changes during the first trimester, causing what most of us are familiar with as the early signs of pregnancy.

Some common symptoms during the first trimester include:

  • Breast tenderness
  • Fatigue
  • Frequent urination
  • Nausea
  • Gaining weight
  • Smell sensitivity
  • Vomiting

During the first 12 weeks, your baby will hit the following developmental milestones:

  • The brain and spinal cord begin to develop
  • The heartbeat can be detected
  • Sex organs begin developing
  • Fingers and toes begin to form

Second Trimester

The second trimester is typically much more comfortable than the fist. During weeks 13 to 28, your belly will continue to expand as it prepares for the growth and development of your baby. You may even begin to feel your baby moving around!

Some symptoms you can expect during weeks 13 through 28 include:

  • Lower back pain
  • Constipation
  • Darkening of the areolas
  • The formation of a dark line forming from the belly button downwards
  • Heartburn
  • New stretch marks

During the second trimester, your baby experiences the following changes:

  • Your baby can swallow
  • They will begin to sleep and wake regularly
  • Muscle tissue, bone, and skin begin to form

Third Trimester

Weeks 29 through 40 make up the final trimester of pregnancy. During this stage, your baby is reaching the end of fetal development and begins preparing to be born. It is normal to experience increased discomfort and pressure as your baby moves into the birthing position.

Some symptoms you can expect during your last trimester include:

  • Braxton Hicks contractions
  • Difficulty catching your breath
  • Leaking breasts
  • Hemorrhoids
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Urinary incontinence

Pregnancy Nutrition Tips

The foods we eat are directly related to health and wellness—especially while pregnant! While many foods can help to supply you and your little one with essential vitamins and nutrients, there are also many foods that can cause issues for you and your little one.

Some of the most important foods to avoid throughout your pregnancy include:

  • High-mercury fish like swordfish and sharks.
  • Unwashed produce.
  • Deli meats.
  • Raw eggs.
  • Too much caffeine.
  • Unpasteurized dairy products.

Selecting Your Pain Management Preferences for Labor & Delivery

As your delivery date draws closer, it is important for you to understand what options are available to you when it comes to making your labor and delivery experience as comfortable as possible. Here are some of the most

Non-Interventional Pain Management Methods

Non-interventional pain management methods are becoming increasingly popular for expectant mothers. This means that there is little to no medical intervention during labor and delivery, allowing the mother to feel everything during the labor and delivery process. However, it is important to note that other holistic techniques are used to help you to cope with the pain of natural birth.

Some non-medicated pain management options include:

  • Hypnosis
  • Breathing exercises
  • Meditation
  • Walking around
  • Listening to soothing music


An epidural or epidural block involves administering medication through a tube that is placed in your lower back. This medication effectively numbs the lower half of your body while allowing you to remain completely conscious while you’re in labor and delivering your baby.

Spinal Block

Typically, spinal blocks are reserved for cesarean sections. This form of anesthesia is administered into the fluid surrounding your spine with a single shot.

What Happens During Your Baby’s First Physical

After giving birth and bringing your little one home, you may still have questions about your baby’s health. Fortunately, a lot of that will be covered during your little one’s first wellness exam a few days after being born. Here’s what you can expect during that first checkup.

Going Over Your Family Health History

When it comes to many childhood illnesses and developmental issues, genetics play an important role. During your baby’s first exam, your pediatrician will ask questions about you and your partner’s family health history to build a larger picture of what issues should be on their radar as your baby grows.

Collecting Your Baby’s Measurements

Your doctor will also take measurements of your baby to get an idea of your baby’s growth pattern and developmental milestones.

Some important measurements your doctor will record include:

  • Lengths (height)
  • Weight
  • Head circumference

Benefits of Breastfeeding

Ultimately, it is your choice as a mother whether or not you’d like to breastfeed your little one. However, it is important to note that there are health benefits for both you and your baby if that’s the route you choose.

Supplies Essential Vitamins and Nutrients

Colostrum is the breast milk that is produced right after giving birth. Often referred to as liquid gold, this yellow-tinted breast milk is packed with essential vitamins and nutrients for your baby. It also helps to provide your baby with antibodies that support the development of a healthy immune system.

Supports Healthy Weight

Breastfeeding also helps to support healthy body weight for your little one throughout infancy. This happens because your breast milk changes with your baby, adapting to their needs as they continue to grow.

Lowers Risk of Health Problems

Research has shown that breastfeeding can help to reduce the risk of your baby developing the following health conditions:

  • Asthma
  • Leukemia during childhood
  • Childhood obesity
  • Ear infections
  • Eczema
  • Diarrhea and vomiting
  • Lower respiratory infections
  • Necrotizing enterocolitis
  • SIDS (Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)
  • Type 2 diabetes

Breastfeeding also lowers the risk of developing the following health issues in mothers:

  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Breast cancer
  • Ovarian cancer

Birthing Care Services in Henry County

At Henry County Hospital, you can expect a five-star experience when you choose to grow your family with our family-centered birthing care services. Our knowledgeable and compassionate staff helps your family make the first days healthful and comfortable. after welcoming your little one into the world.

From education to emotional support, we focus on your individual health and wellness. Learn more about our birthing center today.