Although the months of anticipation before a woman becomes a parent can be joyous and fulfilling, they can also mark a time filled with uncertainty and worry over potential birth defects, pregnancy complications, and chronic health conditions. These worries are not unfounded. Recent statistics show increases in preterm deliveries, low birthweight babies, and the incidence of cesarean sections among U.S. births. Fortunately, maternal and fetal monitoring, prenatal care, and healthy habits can reduce the risk of complications and make labor, delivery, and the postpartum period less stressful.
Pregnancy and Birth Sourcebook, Third Edition provides health information about the reproductive process-from preconception through the postpartum period. It provides information about fertility, infertility, and pregnancy prevention. The book's chapters explain the physical and emotional changes that occur during pregnancy, and they discuss topics related to staying healthy during pregnancy, including eating nutritiously, exercising regularly, obtaining prenatal care, and avoiding harmful substances. Facts about high risk pregnancies-such as those in women with chronic medical conditions, advanced maternal age, or weight concerns-are included. Finally, the book answers common questions about labor and delivery, postpartum recovery, newborn screening, and infant care. A glossary of terms and a directory of resources for information and support are also provided.