Pregnancy presents a time of big changes in every dimension. There's the obvious weight gain and changing shape. Over time, it will be more difficult to maintain a regular exercise regimen of the same type as before pregnancy. Less obvious changes are taking place, too. Estrogen and progesterone levels are increasing. All those, and many more, carry both physical challenges and emotional implications. And, all this at a time when expenses are going up.
Faced with all this, women have a right to be disgruntled. But many women report that being pregnant is (or was) the best time of their lives. They have many resources that can be used to lighten any burdens and others to help them celebrate the fact.
For those who want to become pregnant, but haven't yet achieved their goal, there have been great advances in fertility treatments. The knowledge of the risks of those treatments has improved along with the treatments themselves.
Home pregnancy tests allow women now to predict early, and with great reliability, whether or not they are really pregnant in the first place. Several of the leading manufacturers offer tests that are now easier to read (and harder to mis-read). They have tests that are now so sensitive that some women will need to exercise prudence in using them too early, to avoid false positives.
Once pregnancy is confirmed, choosing the right physician and hospital becomes a big concern. But there are so many channels of information today that the choice is made much easier than ever before. Personal recommendation is still hugely important. But the Internet has made finding out information about who is good and who isn't (and what 'good' really means) simple.
Some women choose to forego a regular physician, at least for delivery, and select a midwife instead. These are no longer the wise village elder woman, but trained professionals with close relations with a licensed OB/GYN (OBstetrics and GYNaecology). They have the experience and training to assist in a birth, and often the time to devote exclusive attention to a woman on that critical day.
Women will want to pay close attention to developing a good exercise and nutrition plan during the time of these changes. Maintaining optimal health for both mother and baby is a natural goal. Here again, the information available is top-notch and plentiful. As always, a critical eye is helpful to sort the wheat from the chaff, but there's plenty of wheat around.
An expectant mother will want to plan her pregnancy carefully, including (and especially) that final phase - labor and delivery. She'll want to investigate Lamaze or other training courses. Pain control options, whether to use anesthesia or have a Caesarean, and other issues can be complex. But taking the time to carefully weigh the pros and cons will be high on anyone's list.
Getting information about possible danger signs such as vaginal bleeding, severe cramps and other not-so-common, but still possible, events is a good thing to do. Forewarned is forearmed. With adequate knowledge, most things can be treated to keep potentially serious problems down to minor annoyances.
Life is change. Some are bigger than others.