Let's Make A Baby!
When a couple decides they want to have a baby, then their intimacy becomes a time of "pregnancy sex" in order to conceive. Sometimes things happen just as they should and the couple conceives without difficulty. Other times, conception may take longer, or there may be a need for assistance in order to have a child. Whatever way the pregnancy happens, once conception takes place, life ceases to be as it was. Every thought finds its way to the pregnancy, the child, the birth, and many other things.
Am I pregnant? From those early pregnancy symptoms of nausea, tiredness, and abdominal cramping to the pregnancy test that confirms the fact that conception has taken place, reproductive health and a safe pregnancy are uppermost in the mind of a pregnant woman. Of course, she wants to know when her child's birth will be, so she will likely consult a pregnancy calendar to figure out how many pregnancy weeks she'll have before she experiences childbirth.
The Early Stages
In early pregnancy, especially during the first trimester, there will be many changes in the mother's body and the emotional roller coaster of pregnancy will challenge some of the day-to-day happenings of life. It is very important during this time that care be given to a healthy pregnancy diet, consultation with the physician as to the use of prenatal vitamins or changes to any medications a woman is taking. During her maternity, with each trimester there is significant fetal development and at specific points during the pregnancy weeks, prenatal testing by ultrasound is done to determine the health of the fetus. Fetal heartbeat can be heard relatively early - a very exciting sound to the ears of a mother - and as each trimester progresses the physician monitors the growth and development of the baby.
Testing For STDs and Birth Defects
Some women decide to have amniocentesis testing done during the second trimester of their pregnancy to determine if there are birth defects. If, during the initial pregnancy testing the STD testing indicated the presence of a sexually transmitted disease, the health of the fetus may be in jeopardy. If the woman has an STD, then it may require abstaining from sex, or the taking of specific drugs under the guidance of the doctor to deal with the issue. A spontaneous abortion may occur as a result of an STD or other conditions present during the pregnancy and it is important for a woman to have a good support system to help her deal with the pain of the loss.
Teen Pregnancies and Abortions
When a teen pregnancy occurs the young mother may be faced with some very difficult decisions regarding the life of her unborn baby. Some young women make the decision to terminate the pregnancy with an abortion using the services of an abortion clinic. Pregnancy can be difficult for a teen and unless there is strong pregnancy support or proper counseling after abortion, a teenager may easily end up with more to contend with than anticipated. If she decides to go through the pregnancy, whether she keeps her baby or gives the baby up, there is a need for encouragement, support and understanding.
Pregnancy care is vitally important to the health and well being of the unborn baby and equally important to the mental and physical health of the mother. This section will address many of the issues and areas of pregnancy care necessary for reproductive health fr
om conception through to childbirth as well as the impact of and care after an abortion.