Pregnancy Week by Week

Get a window on what’s happening in your pregnancy, week by week. From week four to week 42, your baby is experiencing a miraculous transformation from a clump of cells to a fully formed (and totally cute) newborn. Just imagine, as early as five weeks, your baby is already starting to form major organs (heart, stomach, liver, and kidneys) and systems (digestive, circulatory, nervous). By eight weeks, your raspberry-sized womb-mate is moving her arms and legs. At the beginning of your second trimester (week 14), your wee one is sucking his thumb. By week 28, the first week of the third trimester, baby (now as big as an eggplant) is prepping for breathing, developing his eyesight and packing on pounds in anticipation of life outside the womb. Each week is a new miracle. Less miraculous is how a mom-to-be may feel. Pregnancy Week-by-Week charts your baby’s development but also lets mom know what she might be feeling during each week of her pregnancy. Pregnancy week by Week includes everything mom needs to know to feel a sense of control over her pregnancy. Each week offers a complete guide to what you might feel, your must-do’s, your nice-to do’s, and answers and advice on everything pregnancy-related. Plus each week’s guide offers tips on maintaining a healthy and comfortable pregnancy from strategies on coping with pregnancy symptoms (morning sickness anyone?) to ideas for healthy eating, and pointers on talking to your OB. Let us guide you along your pregnancy, week by week.

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Q&A: What's a nurse-midwife?

What's a nurse-midwife, and how is it different than an OB/GYN or a doula? Why should or shouldn't I use one?

Re: What's a nurse-midwife, and how is it different than an OB/GYN or a doula? Why should or shouldn't I use one?

The Bump Expert

Midwife means “with woman.” Nurse-midwives offer health care to women, focusing particularly on normal pregnancy, childbirth, the postpartum period, family planning and routine gynecological care.We emphasize the physical, emotional and social needs of patients. Teaching is an important aspect of each patient visit -- we work hard to involve women and make them partners in their health care. We also concentrate on diet, nutrition, exercise and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. We believe that pregnancy and childbirth are natural processes, and try to avoid interventions unless indicated.

Nurse-midwives have a combination of training in modern obstetrics and gynecology,midwifery (the traditional birthing practice), and nursing. Many nurse-midwives (including me) work as maternity nurses and then return to graduate school to become a nurse-midwife. This training and experience makes us especially well prepared to support women who desire natural childbirth. We support each woman’s right to a satisfying birth experience, and provide support during the labor and birth processes to achieve this goal. For some women this means pain medication, and for others this means a natural childbirth. We believe that it important to educate and to empower women through their pregnancy, childbirth and family planning experiences.

Most nurse-midwives in the United States practice within a hospital system,but some do attend births out of hospital settings. Nurse-midwives collaborate with physicians and consult on any variations from normal. If a woman in the care of a nurse-midwife experiences significant medical problems, she may be referred to a physician. Not all women are good candidates for nurse-midwifery care due to certain medical, pregnancy and gynecological conditions that are considered higher risk. It’s important to let your health care provider know your entire medical history so she can help you decide whether nurse-midwifery care is right for you.

Denise Gershwin, CNM

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