Some couples also choose to undergo genetic testing. They may choose to have genetic testing because of their age or because of a family history of a birth defect. Sometimes genetic testing is done because a previous test has suggested a more in depth look at what is going on. The two most common forms of genetic testing are amniocentesis or chorionic villus sampling (CVS).
There are other tests that can be done during pregnancy. This tests may or may not be routine and should be discussed with your practitioner at prenatal visits:
- Non-stress Test
- Stress Test
- Nuchal Fold Testing
- Alphafetoprotein (AFP)
Fortunately most pregnancies will go along smoothly. Though occasionally some pregnancies will experience complications. Some pregnancy complications can include:
- Pregnancy Induced Hypertension (PIH)
- Gestational Diabetes (GD)
Childbirth Classes and Doulas
Childbirth classes are a great place to help you learn about labor and birth. You should plan to take a childbirth class to be done by your 34th week of pregnancy. Be sure to register early because many classes fill quickly. Taking childbirth class can help increase your confidence in your body and the birth process. It can also give your husband or partner knowledge to help support you in labor and birth.
You may also talk about additional topics in your childbirth class. Some childbirth classes cover:
- Comfort Measures in Labor
- Labor Positions
- Labor Complications
- Cesarean Section
- IV Medications in Labor
- Postpartum Recovery
You may also have learned about doulas trained professionals who help families through the birth process. A doula can help you avoid an unnecessary cesarean and other intervention rates. Doulas help women and their families in a variety of settings including home birth, birth centers and hospitals. There are women who are having planned cesareans who hire a doula for the physical and emotional support.
Postpartum Recovery and Postpartum Depression
After you give birth to your baby you may experience some pain or discomfort. There may be more pain if you had an episiotomy, forceps or vaccum, or a cesarean section. There are specific pain medications available to you to help you ease the pain. You may wonder if you will experience postpartum depression. While many women will have some mild depression after the birth of a baby called the baby blues, the majority do not go on to experience postpartum depression. You may have certain risk factors for postpartum depression, which would make it more likely that you would experience it. Treatment is usually very successful.
Breastfeeding is a special way to nurture your baby. Not only is breast milk the perfect food for your baby, but it also provides you with benefits as well. You may experience some problems as you learn to nurse your baby, these are usually short lived. Your pediatrician will recommend that you breastfeed for at least a year, though every drop of breast milk your baby gets is great for both of you. If you need help with nursing be sure to call someone like a lactation consultant or La Leche League.