TRANSITIONS TO PARENTHOOD & PREGNANCY: This is a big change, but a happy one.

Milestones in parenthood

1. The decision to have children.

True to the Faith says this of making this life changing choice,

“Consider the sanctity and meaning of life. Ponder the joy that comes when children are in the home. Consider the eternal blessings that come from having a good posterity. With a testimony of these principles, you and your spouse will be prepared to prayerfully decide how many children to have and when to have them. Such decisions are between the two of you and the Lord.”

This is a big change,

but a happy one.

Changes especially occur in the three ‘L’ categories: Labor, Love, and Leisure time.

Suggestions for how to deal with changes in the big ‘L’s:

Work as a team.

Resolve differences about division of labor.

Accept change as a result of new roles.

Find time to be together as a couple.

Ultimately, the prophets words are truly inspired in how to transition:

2. Prenatal development

Zygote (1-2 weeks), Embryo (3-8 weeks), Fetus (9+ weeks)prenatal

Sensitive periods in prenatal development


Teratogens: drugs, alcohol, nicotine, caffeine, over-the-counter drugs (Tylenol is ok), cleaning products, paints, diseases, raw food (sushi), hot dogs, lunch meat, unpasteurized dairy (brie, feta), fish (swordfish, shark, tile-fish – large fish), & supplements (only take prenatal vitamins)

What happens to your body? The time to get in shape has already passed by the time you are pregnant, whatever exercise you did before is still ok, but new exercise is not recommended.

Weight gain guidelines:

Underweight to Normal weight: 1 lb/week in the 2nd & 3rd trimesters

Overweight to Obese: 1/2 lb/week in the 2nd & 3rd trimesters

*only need about 300 extra calories/day

3. Labor & Delivery

1. Contractions

Muscles of uterus contract


Effacement (thinning & shortening, needs to reach 100%) &

Dilation (needs to reach 10 cm) of the cervix

2. Pushing

3. Delivery

4. Removing of the placenta


c-section: usually used in instances of fetal distress, prolonged labor & breach

epidural: medication inserted into the epidural of back, takes effect in 10-15 min., lasts through labor, can do continuous infusion through use of a catheter, 5% fail to remove pain

spinal: one time dose, immediate effect, short acting

*risks: longer labor, need for Pitocin, drop in blood pressure, headaches, & higher rate of instrumental delivery

Natural childbirth:

lamaze:  Tries to lessen the pain by concentrating on set procedure, breathing techniques, husband is trained to be a coach

bradley: Teaches positive attitudes, mother will have pain but it is not unbearable, teaches mothers to relax and not fight the pain during the contractions but to use them to work for you, uses gravity to help birthing (birthing wedge)

The miracle of life:

Concerns or Issues facing this time period:

  • Teratogens – to address this concern I will refer to the list of unsafe foods that we received in class which can also be seen above.
  • Pain in Childbirth – to address this concern I will refer to the many different options that I listed above. Most likely I will do lamaze because that is something I remember my mom talking about.
  • Weight gain during pregnancy – In order to not gain too much weight during pregnancy I will begin exercising now and continue to do so when the time comes. I will also remember that I actually do not need to eat for two.


L. Walker, Lecture 7: Transitions to Parenting, SFL 240, Winter 2017

L. Walker, Lecture 8: Pregnancy and Childbirth, SFL 240, Winter 2017


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