First of all I have written some private feeling and knowledge about pregnancy and births.
I have given birth to 2 wonderful children that are healthy and well! I have also had a miscarriage.
Here I would like to tell you a bit more about what my experiences have been during my pregnancies with my daughter Dina and my son Herman.
For one thing - it can be very tiring. I was quite sick during the pregnancies with my 2 children. The smells from other people, and the fumes from smoke and perfumes made me vomit and feel really bad. With my son Herman I felt sick for the whole 9 months, and had to hang over the toilet 1 or 2 times every day.
Furthermore, I had really bad hip pains which made it difficult to walk, and difficult to find a good position to sleep in at night. I have heard that this problem is very typical for Scandinavian women - in more southern parts of the world people never seem to have even heard about this!?
If you are interested in reading more about my two pregnancies and both births, as well as viewing some photos - please have a look at my personal birth page.
YOU KNOW THIS ABOUT PREGNANCY:
Hip pain/pelvic pain is very, very common here in Norway / Scandinavia. Doctors don't know why. Other places around the world people don't seem to have heard about it in such a degree.
I myself was really bothered with it in both my pregnancies. To all other ladies that have this problem - the only thing that helps is to be really careful with what you do. You should definitely not exercise much, be very careful when you walk (don't take to long steps) - be careful when you walk in steps. Try not to lift anything at all, and don't do to much of the housekeeping. It will make it much worse!
At night you might try to put a pillow between/under your knees/hips when you are sleeping. It will help!
The pain is actually caused by hormones. The body makes special hormones, so that your pelvic muscles become looser towards birth, so that the baby can come out. Sometimes though, the problem is that you get too many of these hormones, and your muscles and ligaments loosen up too much. There is an organization here in Norway especially for women with this problem - the problem is so common.
Please be aware that you must take this very seriously - because it can affect you for the rest of you life. If you are not careful, you might even have to sit in a wheelchair in the end of your pregnancy, and even afterwards. The mother of a girlfriend of mine had her last child 25 years ago - and she still has lots of pains in her hips!!!!!
Here in Norway we also get free medical treatment during pregnancy, and women that have this problem get free treatment with physiotherapists. Try to go to a physiotherapist - or a chiropractor. A contribution was sent to me with regard to this matter from Dr Mike Dalan (Chiropractor). Thank you, Mike!
"I am the father of two beautiful little girls. My wife had a lot of back pain and hip pain during her second pregnancy and we found that chiropractic adjustments were very helpful in stopping the pain. She was even adjusted during delivery and I can tell you that she is the only woman I know who delivered without pain and did not have any painkillers. I can't say enough about the great benefit she received from chiropractic care in the late stages of her pregnancy.
A tidbit for you... do you know why pregnant women crave certain foods during their pregnancies? Because the body needs a component of the food for the extra growth it is initiating. Example: ice cream contains calcium and fat both of which are essential for normal bone formation of the fetus. So, when women crave ice cream they are really trying to get more calcium and or fat in their diet. So, follow your cravings."
The amount of blood in your body increases with 50%. That is why you become short-winded. You need to take up more oxygen in your blood!
If you sit in a warm bath during contractions and birth, the pain is much less and you might not need to use any painkillers. I myself sat in a large bathtub at Rogaland Sentralsykehus (the hospital here in Stavanger) during both my births, and I didn't use any painkiller whatsoever during any of these births! My daughter Dina was out after 3 1/2 hours and my son Herman came after 2 hours only (from my first contraction). The warm water made me really relax, and my big pregnant body became weightless. When my daughter was born, the midwife took out the water before she came, so that there was no danger of the baby breathing in water. When Herman was born I had to step out of the water during the last 30 minutes, because the baby came so fast! Anyhow - it was so very, very relaxing to sit in hot water - I can recommend it to everyone that is going to give birth!
A nurse at the hospital told me that the hospital has invested in another large bathtub for mothers giving birth. Records there have shown that mothers sitting in warm water seldom need any painkillers at all!
I myself used the hot water only as a painkiller and to relax, and I found that the water worked best as a painkiller as long as it was really hot. The pain became worse as the water cooled off - but that is my experience! A shower with hot water will definitely also help, if you don't have a bathtub available!
Water-birth doctors however recommend that the water be only a couple of degrees above body temperature. That makes it comfortable, especially if the baby is to be born into the water. Karil Daniels gave this advice to me - she has made some wonderful pages about water birth, with some beautiful photos of babies in water. Click on the photo and view her pages. Who wouldn't like to give birth in water after seeing these happy babies?!?
Giving birth at
In Norway an average of about 65.000 babies are born every year. A mother can actually choose to give birth in her own home - a midwife will come to you from the local hospital. Only 250 women choose this way of giving birth, but I guess it might become more common in a few years? Back to nature?
In Norway people have free medical & hospital care. The taxes that are paid cover all medical costs - not only births; but all kinds of medical care! So having a baby and giving birth in a hospital in Norway is 100% free!
If you work more than 6 months of the last 10 before you give birth, the maternity leave is as follows. You will receive 100% of your (last months) salary for 42 weeks - 38 weeks taken by the mother, and 4 weeks taken by the father, or 80% of you salary for 52 weeks - 48 weeks taken by the mother and 4 weeks taken by the father. If the father chooses to stay at work these 4 weeks, the money is "lost". A father is also entitled to get two weeks vacation from work when the baby is born, so that he can help the mother and baby. Some companies - more and more - choose to give the father ordinary salary during these two weeks, encouraging the father to spend time with his family.
If you do not work before having a baby, you are still entitled to an amount of approximately 34.000 NOK (5600 USD). This money will be paid to you after you have passed 6 months of your pregnancy, if you wish - or when the baby is born.
Every month until your child is 16 years of age, you will receive an amount of 800 NOK (140 USD) per child you are responsible for - this also includes children that are adopted. When the child is between 1 and 3 this amount is a bit higher - 1500 NOK (250 USD) per month.
The government in Norway has now (July 1998) decided to pay a so-called cash payment to all parents that stays at home with their child (only children between 1 and 2 of age) instead of working. A family that decides to have either the mother or the father staying at home with their young children, will receive 3000 NOK per child at home (500 USD) per month.