another book: prenatal yoga & natural birth, by jeannine parvati baker
can't believe i forgot that earlier.
* fetal movement ~ be aware of your own baby's movement throughout the day, then make sure it remains consistent (remember to keep well-hydrated, as this will affect your level of amniotic fluid and thus, the baby's movement)
* fundal height ~ you can check this yourself by counting how many fingerwidths you have from your pubic bone to the top of your uterus while laying on your back ~ this is pretty unscientific and you don't get a "real" amount of cm, but you'll be able to note growth over the course of a couple of weeks, and that's really all you need to make sure of: that there IS still growth going on.
* high blood pressure (you can check this yourself obviously ~ there are many blood pressure cuffs in drugstores / pharmacies)
* excessive swelling (we all know a little puffiness is normal; if you suddenly puff up like a water balloon... that's not okay)
* dizziness, light-headedness, and / or frequent headaches
* developing a fever ~ esp. during labor, you want to make sure that:
..... you don't develop a fever AND
....... your water isn't broken for more than 18 hours AND
......... you aren't in labor before 37 weeks.
* check the color of your amniotic fluid when (if) your water breaks. clear or very pale yellowish is okay; green, brown, etc is not.
* bleeding (before the birth) ~ a little pink tinge to your mucous plug is okay; actual bleeding is not.
* bleeding (after the birth) ~ if you soak (completely soak
) more than 2 post-partum sized pads in under an hour, you're probably hemmoraghing. to prevent this from being a problem
..... don't force yourself to push + don't push for extended periods of time ~ let your body do the work, AND
....... nurse the baby immediately + frequently after birth. if he / she isn't interested, play w/ your own nipples ~ this stimulates oxytocin which will help your uterus contract.
* if you like, you can check your own blood sugar levels by getting a glucometer and test strips ~ normal glucose levels are
..... < 90 mg / dL "fasting" (when you first wake up),
....... < 120 mg / dL 2 hours after a meal,
......... and don't forget that caffeine affects your blood sugar.
* also remember to make sure your baby poops within a few hours after birth!
that's all i can think of right now. i feel sure i'm forgetting something........