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  • v.17(4); Fall 2008

The Journey of Becoming a Mother

Nature intends that the physical and hormonal changes of pregnancy insure the growth and development not just of the baby but of the mother. The physical and emotional changes of pregnancy and, then, labor, birth, and breastfeeding play vital roles in guiding women on the journey of becoming a mother. Standard prenatal care and medicalized labor and birth interfere in powerful ways with nature's plan and, consequently, women's ability to negotiate this journey. In this column, these issues are explored, and implications for childbirth education are discussed.

READER'S QUESTION

The women I teach go through pregnancy intensely worried that something might go wrong. They follow all the prenatal nutritional rules (avoid caffeine and alcohol; take prenatal vitamins; stay away from a myriad of cheeses, deli meats, and fish), have every test available, and, by the time they start childbirth classes, they seem quite willing to do whatever the doctor and hospital say is best during labor and birth. I wonder if “worried pregnancy” sets the stage for women's reluctance to choose normal birth, and I wonder what effect all of this has when it's time to care for their babies.

COLUMNIST'S REPLY

Your concerns highlight for me what we have almost forgotten: Nature intends that the physical and hormonal changes of pregnancy insure the growth and development not just of the baby but of the mother. The physical and emotional changes of pregnancy and, then, the experience of labor, birth, and breastfeeding play vital roles as women make the transition to motherhood. The journey of pregnancy and labor and birth (and all the physiological and psychosocial changes inherent in the process) are intended to build the foundation for women's ability to give to their babies in the sacrificial and profound way that Rubin (1984) and Mercer (1995) describe. Sheila Kitzinger (1992) points out, “Everything that happens once a baby is born is the outcome of all that has come before” (p. 82). I believe that the fear the current maternity care system creates and fosters contributes in powerful ways not just to women's reluctance to choose normal birth but to women's difficulty negotiating the important tasks of pregnancy and, ultimately, the transition to motherhood.

The physical and emotional changes of pregnancy and, then, the experience of labor, birth, and breastfeeding play vital roles as women make the transition to motherhood.

Changes in Pregnancy and Tasks of Pregnancy

Rubin's (1984) and, then, Mercer's (1995) research identified the tasks that women accomplish during pregnancy, which are critical as they make the transition to becoming a mother. The physical and emotional changes of pregnancy are not just unfortunate side effects of changing hormones and an enlarging uterus. They are changes that help women make the transition to becoming mothers, not just physically but emotionally and psychologically. The hormonal orchestration of pregnancy is as exquisite and deliberate as that of labor, birth, and breastfeeding (Buckley, in press). High levels of estrogen and progesterone and their complex interaction with each other and with less well known hormones contribute to the pregnant woman's increased sensitivity and emotionality, the tendency to be fearful, and heightened concern for her own safety and that of her baby. These changes propel the pregnant woman to seek safe passage for herself and her baby, foster her attachment to her growing baby, and, ultimately, guide her through the important process of giving more and more of herself during first her pregnancy, then labor and birth, then breastfeeding and care of her baby (Buckley, in press; Mercer, 1995 ; Rubin, 1984 ).

What effects do changes in prenatal care have on the achievement of the tasks of pregnancy and the transition to becoming a mother? What influence does contemporary prenatal care have on women's decision making, and what appears to be women's reluctance to choose normal birth and willingness to be satisfied with suboptimal maternity care?

Traditional Care in Pregnancy

Traditionally, across time and cultures, pregnant women have been surrounded by knowledgeable women, family, and close friends, who supported the transition to motherhood with affirmation and great excitement. Pregnant women were treated differently, given the best food, and protected as much as possible from stress and overly hard physical work. The woman knew she was pregnant when she noticed physical changes: a missed period, sore breasts, darkened areola, nausea, aversion to certain foods, fatigue. Her due date was determined by noting the start of those signs and, then, the timing of first movements of her baby. She got to know her baby through his movements. The pregnant woman was considered the expert in her pregnancy. She was encouraged to pay careful attention to her changing body, heart, and mind, and to her growing baby. Family rituals insured support during pregnancy and labor and the postpartum period. Pregnancy and birth were family events, and the care and support the pregnant woman received were from people she knew and who knew her well. Although pregnancy and birth carried more risks than today, women developed strong attachments to their unborn babies and worked with family, friends, and caregivers to insure safe passage of their babies.

Contemporary Prenatal Care

Today, pregnancy and birth are treated as medical events rather than as normal life events. Women take commercial, at-home pregnancy tests to find out if they are pregnant and, then, anxiously visit a care provider to confirm the fact of the pregnancy. Right from the start, the pregnant woman affirms that the obstetrician is the expert who must be consulted to find out every detail of how things are going. Because of this, women typically worry from one prenatal visit to the next that everything is “okay.” “Expecting trouble” has become the hallmark of contemporary prenatal care ( Strong, 2000 ). The experts exaggerate the risks of pregnancy and birth and increase women's fears for themselves and their babies. “Expecting trouble” has resulted in an exaggerated concern for safety, “intervention-intensive” pregnancy as well as labor and birth, and, not surprisingly, an escalating cesarean rate and, most recently, a rise in maternal mortality.

Kitzinger (1992) states, “The undermining and systematic disorientation of women who are becoming mothers starts with prenatal care” (p. 82). Routine lifestyle restrictions, routine prenatal testing, and exaggerated concerns for safety undermine women's confidence in their ability to grow their babies and hurl women into a maze of escalating fear. Pregnancy has become a time of rules and worry even for healthy women who have no reason to “expect trouble.”

Lifestyle restrictions

Strong (2000) points out that contemporary prenatal care developed piecemeal, without much evidence that any of its many interventions actually worked. A look at research reported in The Cochrane Library supports Strong's (2000) assertion that there is little evidence that prenatal interventions actually make any difference. For example, although women are told to take prenatal vitamins, no evidence supports the value of routine vitamin supplementation for pregnant women; women are told to eliminate all alcohol during pregnancy, although consuming moderate amounts of alcohol during pregnancy has not been associated with adverse perinatal and infant outcomes ( Armstrong, 2003 ; Enkin et al., 2000 ). There is no evidence that dietary restriction of any sort confers any benefit to pregnant women or their babies ( Enkin et al., 2000 ). Most disturbing is that routine and excessive lifestyle restrictions contribute to the escalation of women's normal, natural fears during pregnancy and to the deterioration of women's confidence in their inherent ability to grow and nourish their developing babies.

Prenatal testing

Long gone are the days of a few simple prenatal tests. Routine sonograms, sometimes done at every prenatal visit, and an ever-increasing number of routine screening tests are considered standard prenatal care today. Of particular concern are screening tests that lead to large numbers of “positive” results. In most cases, a positive screening result does not mean that there is a problem; in fact, there probably isn't one. The way to find out is, of course, to do more tests, and these further tests become increasingly invasive and risky. Most women feel pressured, once on the merry-go-round, to keep going. Women find themselves having to make decisions they never expected or wanted to be in a position to consider.

Barbara Katz-Rothman's (2001) research in the Netherlands provides interesting insights into the potential harm of routine prenatal testing. The Dutch midwives described pregnancy as a time not only of making a baby, but of making a family and making a mother. The midwives (and, until recently, most women) know that birth, like life, does not ever come with guarantees. Prenatal testing highlights and escalates uncertainty. The midwives described “knowing ahead” if there are problems as “spoiling” the pregnancy and burdening the mother with untimely grief. The midwives worry about the cost of ruining a pregnancy.

What effect does ruining the pregnancy have on women's ability to achieve the tasks of pregnancy and be ready for labor and birth and becoming a mother? At the very least, there is a delay in attachment until all the tests come back “okay.” Perhaps most troubling is that women describe attaching to their babies for the first time when seeing their baby on sonogram, in stark contrast to the slow, steady, natural attachment that happens as women get to know their babies over the days and months of pregnancy—better than anyone else and in a deeper way than any sonogram picture can inspire—through the baby's movement and touch and each mother's own special ways of communicating with her baby.

Although better maternal nutrition, improved hygiene, and the availability of antibiotics are responsible for the dramatic decrease in both infant and maternal morbidity and mortality in the past 100 years, women are encouraged to erroneously believe that obstetric and hospital care are what have made birth safer for women and their babies ( Rooks, 1997 ). As a result, women seek safe passage for themselves and their babies by “following the rules.” Their decisions are often based on “not taking any chances,” thereby avoiding potential blame and regret.

In contrast, Edwards's (2005) study of women planning to give birth at home in Scotland found that the women planning home births believed that they held the key to safety for themselves and their babies. The decision to plan a home birth was influenced by the belief that the women themselves, not the experts, insured safe passage for their babies. The women believed that they would know best if something was wrong because they know their bodies best. They also believed that being relaxed and comfortable, confident and positive, and being able to trust those around them (not blind trust, but the trust that happens between those who really know and respect each other) would reduce risk and increase safety. Devaluing women's knowledge was identified as a major obstacle to safe birth. Edwards discovered that, within the context of the trusting relationship (with the midwife), women are free to become the expert in their pregnancy and birth, and this reduces risk, increases safety, and becomes the foundation for decision making. How different from blindly following rules and making decisions based on avoiding blame and regret!

Conclusions

Contemporary prenatal care interferes with women's ability to accomplish the tasks of pregnancy and, combined with “intervention-intensive” care during labor and birth, has the potential to seriously disrupt women's transition to becoming a mother. Nature's plan—the gradual, hormonally encouraged “falling in love” that happens as a woman gets to know her baby intimately as he grows within her body—guides women on the journey of becoming a mother. The woman's ability to attach to her growing baby in natural, everyday ways is routinely disregarded. Too little value is placed on a woman's knowledge of herself or her growing baby. Women's normal fears are intentionally increased. Women are told over and over again that the only way to insure safety for themselves and their babies is to follow the advice of their care provider, including giving birth in a hospital.

Contemporary prenatal care interferes with women's ability to accomplish the tasks of pregnancy and, combined with “intervention-intensive” care during labor and birth, has the potential to seriously disrupt women's transition to motherhood.

Prenatal care needs to respect and honor both the tasks that women need to accomplish in pregnancy and the ways in which nature helps them on this journey. The woman needs to develop a strong attachment to her baby in natural, normal ways. She needs to be supported so that her normal fears spur her to take good care of herself and her baby, but do not escalate so that she is paralyzed by them and willing to hand over responsibility to the experts. She needs to know that she is the expert in her pregnancy, that she knows her baby and her body best. She needs to know that she, not the care provider, holds the key to safety for herself and her baby.

Accomplishing the tasks of pregnancy is the foundation for becoming a mother. It is probably also the foundation for being willing to experience normal labor and birth, the next important step in nature's exquisite plan for the continuing journey of becoming a mother. The hormonal orchestration of normal, physiologic labor and birth insures that the baby arrives alert, calm, and ready to competently breastfeed, and that the mother greets her baby alert, interested, and eager to care for him right from the first moments after birth (Buckley, in press; Lothian & DeVries, 2005 ).

Implications for Childbirth Education

The transition to motherhood that begins with pregnancy is a momentous journey for women. Childbirth educators can play an important role in assisting women on this journey. According to Kitzinger (2001) , in most traditional cultures women believe they can prepare for a safe and easy birth by what they do throughout their pregnancy. Preparing for birth in today's culture needs to start early in pregnancy because what happens in pregnancy does indeed influence women's ability to give birth safely and easily.

Preparing for birth begins with accomplishing the tasks of pregnancy. We need to be with women every step of the way through pregnancy: helping women manage normal fears, develop strong attachments to the baby, and develop confidence in themselves and the process of birth. It takes the whole pregnancy for these things to happen. The end of pregnancy is too late to begin attending childbirth classes, reading the Lamaze: Pregnancy, Birth & Beyond magazine and The Official Lamaze Guide: Giving Birth with Confidence, and learning about evidence-based maternity care. Falling in love with her baby and developing confidence in herself and in her ability to give birth is intended to happen slowly as the woman's pregnancy unfolds. The 40-week pregnancy e-mail, “Lamaze…Building Confidence Week by Week,” is an important way to be with women from the beginning of pregnancy. We need additional ways to engage women early in pregnancy beyond traditional early pregnancy classes.

Perhaps most important, we have a role to play in helping women embrace the belief that they hold the key to safety for themselves and their babies. This is the foundation for women being able to make critical decisions about care provider and place of birth and, ultimately, being able to experience normal, natural birth. But it takes time for the woman to develop the confidence that she knows her body and her baby better than anyone else, and then to realize that this knowledge plays an important role in keeping her baby and herself safe during pregnancy and birth.

I am becoming convinced that the key to changing the culture of birth starts not with birth but with pregnancy. And with a deeper understanding and appreciation of what happens on the journey of becoming a mother.

The key to changing the culture of birth starts not with birth but with pregnancy.
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116 Pregnancy Essay Topic Ideas & Examples

Inside This Article

Pregnancy is a life-changing experience that brings with it a myriad of emotions, challenges, and joys. As an expectant mother, you may find yourself overwhelmed with thoughts and feelings about your impending journey into motherhood. If you're struggling to come up with a topic for your pregnancy essay, fear not! We've compiled a list of 116 pregnancy essay topic ideas and examples to help inspire you:

  • The physical changes of pregnancy: A look at how a woman's body changes during pregnancy.
  • The emotional rollercoaster of pregnancy: Exploring the highs and lows of pregnancy emotions.
  • Pregnancy cravings: Why do pregnant women crave certain foods?
  • Pregnancy and exercise: The benefits of staying active during pregnancy.
  • The importance of prenatal care: Why regular check-ups are essential for a healthy pregnancy.
  • Pregnancy complications: A discussion of common pregnancy complications and how to manage them.
  • Pregnancy myths: Debunking common misconceptions about pregnancy.
  • Pregnancy and nutrition: The role of a healthy diet in a successful pregnancy.
  • Pregnancy and mental health: Coping with anxiety and depression during pregnancy.
  • Pregnancy and relationships: How pregnancy can impact your relationships with your partner, family, and friends.
  • Pregnancy and work: Balancing a career with pregnancy and motherhood.
  • Pregnancy and parenting styles: How your parenting style may be influenced by your pregnancy experience.
  • Pregnancy and childbirth education: The benefits of prenatal classes and childbirth education.
  • Pregnancy and body image: How pregnancy can affect a woman's body image and self-esteem.
  • Pregnancy and fertility treatments: Exploring the options available for women struggling to conceive.
  • Pregnancy and age: The impact of age on pregnancy and childbirth.
  • Pregnancy and weight gain: How much weight is healthy to gain during pregnancy?
  • Pregnancy and miscarriage: Coping with the loss of a pregnancy.
  • Pregnancy and childbirth: A comparison of different childbirth methods and options.
  • Pregnancy and birth defects: Understanding the risk factors for birth defects during pregnancy.
  • Pregnancy and genetic testing: The benefits and risks of genetic testing during pregnancy.
  • Pregnancy and childbirth in different cultures: A comparison of pregnancy and childbirth practices around the world.
  • Pregnancy and breastfeeding: The benefits of breastfeeding for both mother and baby.
  • Pregnancy and postpartum depression: Coping with depression after giving birth.
  • Pregnancy and childbirth in the media: How pregnancy and childbirth are portrayed in movies, TV shows, and social media.
  • Pregnancy and surrogacy: Exploring the ethical and legal issues surrounding surrogacy.
  • Pregnancy and adoption: The emotional journey of adopting a child.
  • Pregnancy and single motherhood: The challenges and rewards of being a single mother.
  • Pregnancy and same-sex parenting: The unique challenges faced by same-sex couples during pregnancy and parenthood.
  • Pregnancy and childbirth in the age of technology: How advances in technology have changed the way we approach pregnancy and childbirth.
  • Pregnancy and disability: Navigating pregnancy with a disability.
  • Pregnancy and multiple births: The joys and challenges of carrying and raising multiple babies.
  • Pregnancy and preterm birth: Understanding the risk factors for preterm birth and how to prevent it.
  • Pregnancy and stillbirth: Coping with the loss of a baby during pregnancy.
  • Pregnancy and infertility: The emotional toll of struggling to conceive.
  • Pregnancy and abortion: The ethical and legal considerations surrounding abortion during pregnancy.
  • Pregnancy and childbirth in the military: The unique challenges faced by military families during pregnancy and childbirth.
  • Pregnancy and substance abuse: The risks of using drugs and alcohol during pregnancy.
  • Pregnancy and domestic violence: The impact of domestic violence on pregnancy and childbirth.
  • Pregnancy and teenage motherhood: The challenges faced by teenage mothers during pregnancy and motherhood.
  • Pregnancy and childbirth during a pandemic: How the COVID-19 pandemic has affected pregnancy and childbirth.
  • Pregnancy and childbirth in low-income communities: The barriers to accessing prenatal care and support in low-income communities.
  • Pregnancy and childbirth in rural areas: The challenges faced by women in rural areas during pregnancy and childbirth.
  • Pregnancy and childbirth in urban areas: The benefits and drawbacks of giving birth in a city.
  • Pregnancy and childbirth in developing countries: The unique challenges faced by women in developing countries during pregnancy and childbirth.
  • Pregnancy and childbirth in developed countries: A comparison of pregnancy and childbirth practices in developed countries.
  • Pregnancy and childbirth during natural disasters: How natural disasters can impact pregnancy and childbirth.
  • Pregnancy and childbirth during war: The challenges faced by pregnant women in war-torn regions.
  • Pregnancy and childbirth during climate change: How climate change is affecting pregnancy and childbirth.
  • Pregnancy and childbirth during economic downturns: The impact of economic instability on pregnancy and childbirth.
  • Pregnancy and childbirth during political unrest: The challenges faced by pregnant women in politically unstable regions.
  • Pregnancy and childbirth during social movements: How social movements can impact pregnancy and childbirth.
  • Pregnancy and childbirth during technological advancements: How advances in technology are changing the way we approach pregnancy and childbirth.
  • Pregnancy and childbirth during medical breakthroughs: The benefits of new medical technologies for pregnancy and childbirth.
  • Pregnancy and childbirth during social media: The role of social media in shaping our views on pregnancy and childbirth.
  • Pregnancy and childbirth during the digital age: How the internet has changed the way we access information about pregnancy and childbirth.
  • Pregnancy and childbirth during the information age: The benefits and drawbacks of having so much information available about pregnancy and childbirth.
  • Pregnancy and childbirth during the age of misinformation: Navigating the challenges of sorting fact from fiction when it comes to pregnancy and childbirth.
  • Pregnancy and childbirth during the age of fake news: How fake news can impact our perceptions of pregnancy and childbirth.
  • Pregnancy and childbirth during the age of alternative facts: The challenges of navigating conflicting information about pregnancy and childbirth.
  • Pregnancy and childbirth during the age of conspiracy theories: The impact of conspiracy theories on our understanding of pregnancy and childbirth.
  • Pregnancy and childbirth during the age of social media influencers: How social media influencers are shaping our views on pregnancy and childbirth.
  • Pregnancy and childbirth during the age of celebrity endorsements: The influence of celebrities on our perceptions of pregnancy and childbirth.
  • Pregnancy and childbirth during the age of mommy bloggers: The benefits and drawbacks of following mommy bloggers during pregnancy and childbirth.
  • Pregnancy and childbirth during the age of parenting podcasts: How parenting podcasts are changing the way we approach pregnancy and childbirth.
  • Pregnancy and childbirth during the age of parenting books: The benefits of reading parenting books during pregnancy and childbirth.
  • Pregnancy and childbirth during the age of parenting classes: The benefits of taking parenting classes during pregnancy and childbirth.
  • Pregnancy and childbirth during the age of mommy groups: The benefits of joining mommy groups during pregnancy and childbirth.
  • Pregnancy and childbirth during the age of birthing centers: The benefits of giving birth in a birthing center.
  • Pregnancy and childbirth during the age of midwives: The benefits of using a midwife during pregnancy and childbirth.
  • Pregnancy and childbirth during the age of doulas: The benefits of using a doula during pregnancy and childbirth.
  • Pregnancy and childbirth during the age of home births: The benefits of giving birth at home.
  • Pregnancy and childbirth during the age of hospital births: The benefits of giving birth in a hospital.
  • Pregnancy and childbirth during the age of water births: The benefits of giving birth in water.
  • Pregnancy and childbirth during the age of natural births: The benefits of giving birth naturally.
  • Pregnancy and childbirth during the age of epidurals: The benefits of using an epidural during childbirth.
  • Pregnancy and childbirth during the age of c-sections: The benefits of having a c-section.
  • Pregnancy and childbirth during the age of inductions: The benefits of having an induction.
  • Pregnancy and childbirth during the age of doulas: The benefits of using a doula during childbirth.
  • Pregnancy and childbirth during the age of midwives: The benefits of using a midwife during childbirth.
  • Pregnancy and childbirth during the age of breastfeeding: The benefits of breastfeeding your baby.
  • Pregnancy and childbirth during the age of formula feeding: The benefits of formula feeding your baby.
  • Pregnancy and childbirth during the age of co-sleeping: The benefits of co-sleeping with your baby.
  • Pregnancy and childbirth during the age of babywearing: The benefits of babywearing your baby.
  • Pregnancy and childbirth during the age of attachment parenting: The benefits of attachment parenting.
  • Pregnancy and childbirth during the age of cry-it-out parenting: The benefits of cry-it-out parenting.
  • Pregnancy and childbirth during the age of sleep training: The benefits of sleep training your baby.
  • Pregnancy and childbirth during the age of helicopter parenting: The benefits of helicopter parenting.
  • Pregnancy and childbirth during the age of free-range parenting: The benefits of free-range parenting.
  • Pregnancy and childbirth during the age of gentle parenting: The benefits of gentle parenting.
  • Pregnancy and childbirth during the age of positive parenting: The benefits of positive parenting.
  • Pregnancy and childbirth during the age of mindful parenting: The benefits of mindful parenting.
  • Pregnancy and childbirth during the age of conscious parenting: The benefits of conscious parenting.
  • Pregnancy and childbirth during the age of peaceful parenting: The benefits of peaceful parenting.
  • Pregnancy and childbirth during the age of respectful parenting: The benefits of respectful parenting.
  • Pregnancy and childbirth during the

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Why I’ll Keep Saying ‘Pregnant Women’

Being inclusive is important. But it’s not everything.

A pregnant person.

Who can get pregnant? It sounds like a trick question. For centuries, English speakers have talked about “pregnant women” without a second thought, but a vocal and growing movement wants to replace that phrase with the more inclusive pregnant people . And because the United States hasn’t yet found an issue it can’t turn into a polarized debate, a partisan divide has already formed. The received wisdom is now that a good liberal should always say “pregnant people,” if only because it upsets Tucker Carlson .

I disagree. Language evolves, and inclusion for transgender people matters. But for now I will keep using pregnant women in almost all circumstances.

Pregnant people is a relatively new phrase. Google’s Ngram viewer, which trawls English-language books dating back to 1800, finds absolutely no trace of it before 1978 , and a sharp spike in the past decade. It now appears in CNN headlines , Planned Parenthood advice , Washington Post columns , and CDC guidelines on COVID-19 vaccination. Its usage reflects a growing awareness that not everyone who gets pregnant defines themselves as a woman—transgender men and nonbinary people can give birth too. ( Nonbinary is itself a very recent coinage; the usage examples given in Merriam-Webster’s dictionary date back only to 2015.) Using more inclusive language, the American Civil Liberties Union’s deputy legal director, Louise Melling, recently told my colleague Emma Green , “should do a fair amount of work to help address discrimination. If we talk about ‘pregnant people,’ it’s a reminder to all of us to catch ourselves when we’re sitting in the waiting room at the GYN that we’re not going to stare at the man who’s there.”

At first glance, the shift to pregnant people seems like a natural extension of feminism’s second wave, which was keenly aware of how language reflected and shaped sexist assumptions about women’s lives and careers. Removing needless gender markers was part of the feminist project. Campaigners objected to the use of mankind in textbooks about humans of both sexes, they coined Ms . to give women an honorific that didn’t reveal their marital status, and they argued for changing references to firemen, chairmen, and newspapermen because women could hold those jobs too.

Read: The culture war over ‘pregnant people’

There was, inevitably, a backlash. Remaking language was deemed threatening and trivial—an outrageous imposition and a distraction from real problems. In 1985, the New York Times columnist William Safire insisted that there was no need to say “he or she,” because “historically, the male usage has embraced the female.” The newspaper backed him, running an unsigned editorial protesting that “non-sexist language” had gone too far, warning that it would end with “the ultimate absurdity in nomenclature,” which was replacing woman with woperson . Correspondents replied that this would surely lead in turn to woperdaughter , leading the Times to conclude in another editorial that “trying to force values onto language, however virtuous they may be, obviously seethes with absurdity.”

Woperdaughter never caught on, but then, it was a deliberately extreme example dreamed up by letter writers so that they could be offended by it. Overall, the advocates for change triumphed, and Douglas Hofstadter’s now-classic parody “ A Person Paper on Purity in Language ,” also published in 1985, suggests why. Hofstadter, writing in the persona of “William Satire,” imagined a world in which common words referred to race instead of gender—think firewhite instead of fireman. Defending that status quo with mock indignation, he showed how bizarre, patronizing, and reactionary the opponents of gender-neutral language sounded. “It’s high time someone blew the whistle on all the silly prattle about revamping our language to suit the purposes of certain political fanatics,” he wrote, scoffing at the notion “that using the word ‘white,’ either on its own or as a component, to talk about all the members of the human species is somehow degrading to blacks and reinforces racism … There is great beauty to a phrase such as ‘All whites are created equal.’” The essay makes its point elegantly, and most of us now talk about firefighters and clergy without feeling that we are making a political statement.

Given all the effort feminists have invested in making language more equitable, you might expect that they would welcome use of the term pregnant people . But some, including me, are concerned that it obscures the social dynamics at work in laws surrounding contraception, abortion, and maternal health. The argument for the second wave’s language changes was that women fought fires in the exact same way as men, so one word should cover both sexes. That’s a different decision from whether we should keep gendered language to reflect heavily gendered experiences. Earlier this month, the British Pregnancy Advice Service announced that it would continue to use pregnant women —while also stressing that it runs trans-inclusive services— because “from choice in childbirth to access to emergency contraception, our reproductive rights are undermined precisely because these are issues that affect women.”

Perhaps a comparison will help. The same progressives who push for pregnant people have no problem saying “Black Lives Matter”—and in fact decry the right-wing rejoinder that “ all lives matter .” Yet, hopefully, all lives do matter—and about half of the people shot by U.S. police are white . So why insist on Black ? Because the phrase is designed to highlight police racism, as well as the disproportionate killing of Black men in particular. Making the slogan more “inclusive” also makes it useless for political campaigning.

Pregnant people does the same. The famous slogan commonly attributed to the second-wave activist Florynce Kennedy—“If men could get pregnant, abortion would be a sacrament”—would be totally defanged if it were made gender-neutral. And if we cannot talk about, say, the Texas abortion law in the context of patriarchal control of women’s bodies, then framing the feminist case against such laws becomes harder. No more “men making laws about women.” Instead we get: “Some people who are in charge of policy want to restrict the rights of some other people. We oppose that because people’s rights are human rights!”

Mary Ziegler: The deviousness of Texas’s new abortion law

Simplicity, clarity, and effectiveness are paramount when language is used in political arguments. Many of the recent attempts to take women out of the abortion conversation result in gibberish—a word salad that helps no one. A few weeks ago, the ACLU gave a vivid demonstration of the problem when it amended Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s famous legal opinion to read : “The decision whether or not to bear a child is central to a [person’s] life, to [their] well-being and dignity … When the government controls that decision for [people], [they are] being treated as less than a fully adult human responsible for [their] own choices.” Inspiring! Put that on a T-shirt.

The ACLU’s executive director has since apologized for that tweet, saying that rewriting Ginsburg was an error. But the organization wasn’t alone in trying out the new orthodoxy and then realizing how useless it can be for making a political point. Here is the snap reaction from Joe Biden’s Twitter account to an outrageous law that promises private citizens a bounty for turning in anyone who helps a vulnerable woman procure an abortion: “Texas law SB8 will significantly impair people’s access to the health care they need—particularly for communities of color and individuals with low incomes,” wrote Biden (or, more likely, a young staffer). “We are deeply committed to the constitutional right established in Roe v. Wade and will protect and defend that right.”

This is an inch away from the kind of anemic corporate speak that promises to circle back with stakeholders on this quarter’s key performance indicators. Another way to write the Biden tweet would be: “The new Texas abortion law is an attack on women and their right to receive medical care. It will hurt poor women most, and Black women, and Latina women. We will defend the constitutional right to abortion.” In politics, making a point that most people can’t understand is not very inclusive. (Presumably, the White House agrees with me, because Biden’s later statements used the word women .)

Substituting people for women might emphasize women’s humanity—as some have argued—but it does so at the cost of obliterating the history and theoretical basis of feminism. Yes, women are people. But they are a particular kind of people, the kind of people who have historically been denied the vote, not allowed to own property, excluded from higher education and professional careers, beaten into submission by their partners, and paid lower wages. These things did not happen by coincidence. They were part of a social order—patriarchy—that controlled and monitored female sexual purity and reproduction. Dismantling that system is not as simple as declaring women to be people too and then retiring in triumph. To combat a problem, you have to be able to name it.

This is my position on pregnant people : It’s fine! I have no issue with someone writing about their own experience of miscarriage, or IVF treatment, or parenting , or their shoe size suddenly increasing at 28 weeks and talking about their kinship with other pregnant people . But—and this is crucial—saying “pregnant women” in those situations isn’t grievously wrong either. It’s the language that every adult alive today grew up using, and for 99 percent of English speakers, it’s the language with which they are most familiar. You can argue that the newer phrase is preferable without having to insist that the old one is hateful and its use is slam-dunk evidence of bigotry.

Moving language forward by decree is difficult, unless you’re in one of those dictatorships where the supreme leader renames January after himself . Yet in Britain, where I live, the prime driver of a certain type of trans-inclusive language is not grassroots demand but the lobbying organization Stonewall. It has successfully recommended the removal of gendered language to corporations, universities, police forces, regulators, charities, and government departments, many of which also pay Stonewall a fee to be celebrated as “diversity champions,” according to a recent BBC investigation . Forcing through rapid linguistic change like this freaks people out because they sense that reality itself is shifting—and because language then becomes a test you can fail, even if you don’t mean any harm. To regular people not steeped in the culture wars, discovering that common phrases are now off-limits feels like being expected to know which cutlery to use—an etiquette code set by the rich and well educated.

Perhaps you think that’s unfair, that pregnant people is just a small tweak to language and tweaking language is the least we can do to help marginalized communities. Okay, but we don’t talk about “ejaculators” or “testicle havers” dominating the Texas legislature. We don’t note that only sperm-shooters have ever been president of the United States. Prostate Cancer UK can use the hashtag #MenWeAreWithYou, whereas the medical journal The Lancet talks about “ bodies with vaginas ” lacking access to hygiene products during their periods. (Sensibly, rather than overhauling its entire vocabulary, Prostate Cancer UK offers some dedicated resources for trans women.) The new rules of language are patchily applied, and deciding when to be maximally inclusive is itself a political choice. Some progressives use pregnant people reflexively, because they assume anything that offends Ted Cruz must be good.

Read: The world is trapped in America’s culture war

That background makes pregnant people look like an arbitrary shibboleth—a signal that you belong to the correct political tribe. And that is dangerous, because instead of ushering in a new and helpful phrase by explaining and encouraging its use, progressives have turned it into a political purity test. It’s the soup spoon of language. Some in the political middle ground would have happily accepted a calm, reasonable argument in favor of pregnant people but will now regard saying it as a capitulation, a humiliation, an insult—forced deference to values that they do not share.

In the past few years, I’ve become more open to talking about “pregnant people.” It’s not one of those pieces of avant-garde terminology that risks baffling readers who don’t have a Ph.D. in gender studies. Everyone understands what it means, and using it won’t confuse anyone about who is being discussed. I am, however, more skeptical of other ostensibly inclusive language suggestions related to female bodies, such as public-awareness campaigns targeting “people with cervixes.” As Britain’s recent unedifying debate on that subject showed, even senior politicians don’t know what a cervix is or who has one. The Labour Party’s justice spokesman, David Lammy, thought that “a cervix is something you can have following various procedures, hormone treatment, all the rest of it.” (It is not. It is a distinctive physiological structure that keeps the uterus sterile and supports a pregnancy, and it is not constructed as part of a vaginoplasty.) Again, language is not very inclusive if the majority of people don’t understand it. Imagine seeing a poster in a doctor’s office urging “anyone with a cervix” to get a cancer screening, and ask yourself: Might some patients not realize that the message applies to them?

If I’m talking about someone who doesn’t identify as a woman, I would call them a “pregnant person.” That’s common courtesy. I might also use pregnant people as a general term if it feels appropriate—and other people will quite defensibly draw that particular line in a different place from me. Being a minority using services designed for the majority is always hard, whether you are a male breast-cancer patient, a woman experiencing hair loss, a man giving birth, or a woman trying to find work boots to fit her small feet. Inclusion and acceptance are legitimate political goals. But they are not the only goals.

When it comes to this battle, I believe in the right to choose. And I will keep using pregnant women when talking about abortion laws that restrict women’s freedom, and the toll of rape in war zones, and medicine’s lack of research into female bodies. In those cases, trans men and nonbinary people are being swept up in a fight we need to name: the war on women.

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Essay on Pregnancy

Students are often asked to write an essay on Pregnancy in their schools and colleges. And if you’re also looking for the same, we have created 100-word, 250-word, and 500-word essays on the topic.

Let’s take a look…

100 Words Essay on Pregnancy

What is pregnancy.

Pregnancy is when a baby grows inside a woman’s womb or uterus. It starts when a sperm from a man joins with a woman’s egg. This tiny new life is called an embryo at first, and then a fetus as it gets bigger. A full pregnancy usually lasts about nine months.

Stages of Pregnancy

Changes in the mother.

A pregnant woman’s body changes a lot. She may feel tired, have morning sickness, and her belly will grow as the baby does. She needs to eat healthy foods, get checkups, and take care of herself to help her baby grow strong.

The Birth of the Baby

When the baby is ready to be born, the mother will feel labor pains. This is when her body tells her it’s time for the baby to come out. The baby will come out through the birth canal, and the family will welcome a new member.

250 Words Essay on Pregnancy

Pregnancy lasts about nine months and is divided into three parts, called trimesters. In the first trimester, the baby is just starting to form. The mother might feel tired and sick. The second trimester is often easier. The baby grows bigger, and the mother can feel it move. In the last part, the third trimester, the baby gets ready to be born. The mother’s belly is very big, and she might feel uncomfortable and excited to meet her baby.

Health During Pregnancy

It’s important for the mother to take care of herself and the baby. Eating healthy food, going to the doctor for check-ups, and staying away from bad habits like smoking or drinking alcohol are all very important. These things help the baby grow strong and healthy.

Having the Baby

When the baby is ready to come out, the mother will feel pains called contractions. This is when the baby is pushing to get out of the womb. The mother will go to a hospital or a birthing center where doctors or nurses will help her give birth. After the baby is born, it’s a happy time for the family as they welcome the new member.

Pregnancy is a special time when a new life is being made. It’s full of changes, care, and excitement as families prepare for a new baby.

500 Words Essay on Pregnancy

Pregnancy is the time when a baby grows inside a woman’s womb or uterus. It starts when a sperm from a man joins with an egg from a woman. This is called fertilization. The fertilized egg then attaches to the wall of the uterus. This is the beginning of a nine-month journey, which we divide into three parts called trimesters.

The Three Trimesters

The second trimester is from week 13 to the end of week 26. The baby is now called a fetus. This is when the mother can feel the baby moving. The baby’s skin is thin and red, and its bones start to harden.

The third trimester is from week 27 until the birth. The baby grows bigger and stronger. It can now blink, dream, and even listen to sounds. The mother’s belly is very big, and she might feel uncomfortable and excited to meet her baby.

Changes in the Mother’s Body

Healthy habits for pregnancy.

When the baby is ready to be born, the mother will feel contractions. These are like very strong belly aches that come and go. They mean the baby is pushing its way out. Birth usually happens in a hospital, but some choose to have their babies at home. Doctors, nurses, or midwives help the mother during birth.

After the Baby is Born

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pregnant woman essay

  • Research article
  • Open access
  • Published: 23 November 2018

Factors influencing the quality of life of pregnant women: a systematic review

  • Nolwenn Lagadec 1 ,
  • Magali Steinecker 1 ,
  • Amar Kapassi 1 ,
  • Anne Marie Magnier 1 ,
  • Julie Chastang 1 ,
  • Sarah Robert 2 ,
  • Nadia Gaouaou 1 &
  • Gladys Ibanez   ORCID: orcid.org/0000-0002-5592-699X 2  

BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth volume  18 , Article number:  455 ( 2018 ) Cite this article

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Pregnancy is a period of transition with important physical and emotional changes. Even in uncomplicated pregnancies, these changes can affect the quality of life (QOL) of pregnant women, affecting both maternal and infant health. The objectives of this study were to describe the quality of life during uncomplicated pregnancy and to assess its associated socio-demographic, physical and psychological factors in developed countries.

A systematic review was performed according to the PRISMA guidelines. Searches were made in PubMed, EMBASE and BDSP (Public Health Database). Two independent reviewers extracted the data. Countries with a human development index over 0.7 were selected. The quality of the articles was evaluated on the basis of the STROBE criteria.

In total, thirty-seven articles were included. While the physical component of QOL decreased throughout pregnancy, the mental component was stable and even showed an improvement during pregnancy. Main factors associated with better QOL were mean maternal age, primiparity, early gestational age, the absence of social and economic problems, having family and friends, doing physical exercise, feeling happiness at being pregnant and being optimistic. Main factors associated with poorer QOL were medically assisted reproduction, complications before or during pregnancy, obesity, nausea and vomiting, epigastralgia, back pain, smoking during the months prior to conception, a history of alcohol dependence, sleep difficulties, stress, anxiety, depression during pregnancy and sexual or domestic violence.

Conclusions

Health-related quality of life refers to the subjective assessment of patients regarding the physical, mental and social dimensions of well-being. Improving the quality of life of pregnant women requires better identification of their difficulties and guidance which offers assistance whenever possible.

Peer Review reports

According to the World Health Organization, quality of life (QOL) is defined as “ individuals’ perception of their position in life in the context of the culture and value systems in which they live and in relation to their goals, expectations, standards and concerns. This is a very broad concept, and one that can be influenced in a complex way by the physical health of the subject, his or her psychological state and level of independence, social relations and relationship with the essential elements of his or her environment ” [ 1 ]. It is therefore founded on several objective factors (linked to the quality of the environment and living conditions), and subjective factors (linked to the personal sphere and measurable in terms of satisfaction and well-being). Health status as an essential component of quality of life is referred to as health-related quality of life (HRQOL) [ 2 ].

Pregnancy is a period of transition with important physical and emotional changes [ 3 ]. Even in uncomplicated pregnancies, these changes can affect the quality of life of pregnant women and affect both maternal and infant health (pregnancy monitoring, pregnancy outcomes, maternal postpartum health, and the psychomotor development of the infant) [ 4 , 5 , 6 , 7 , 8 ]. Health professionals in the field of prenatal maternal and child health try to satisfy their patients with respect to their experience during preconception and pregnancy periods [ 2 ]. Traditionally used pregnancy outcome measures, such as morbidity and mortality rates, remain essential. However, they are not sufficient on their own because population health should be assessed, not only on the basis of saving lives, but also in terms of improving quality of life [ 2 , 9 ].

Over the past decades, numerous instruments have been developed to measure HRQOL in various patient populations, with 2 basic approaches: generic and disease-specific [ 10 ]. While generic measures (for example the SF-36 Short-Form Item 36 and WHOQOL-BREF World Health Organization’s Quality of Life Scale) have broad application across different types and severity of diseases, disease-specific measures are designed to assess particular diseases or patient populations. To our knowledge, there is no review of the literature to describe the quality of life of pregnant women in primary care. The objectives of this study were to describe the quality of life during uncomplicated pregnancy and to assess its associated socio-demographic, physical and psychological factors in developed countries.

Type of study

The study consisted of a systematic review of the literature in the PUBMED, EMBASE and BDSP databases (BDSP is the French Public Health Database). The search was performed according to the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) criteria.

Inclusion and exclusion criteria

The search strategy and inclusion/exclusion criteria were developed by the whole group of authors after which two authors (LN and IG) individually conducted the literature search. Key search terms included “Pregnancy”, “Quality of life”, or “Health related quality of life”. Search terms were selected with reference to relevant index terms (MeSH, Emtree or Thesaurus). All observational studies (e.g., cohort, cross-sectional, case-control) which were published in English and French prior to March 2016 have been considered (no restriction in the starting date). Developed countries were chosen as a basis for the research to ensure epidemiological uniformity. In order to define a list of developed countries comparable to France, countries with a human development index (HDI) of over 0.7 were selected. This list, provided by the United Nations (UN), is available online [ 11 ]. Studies measuring quality of life with a single question were excluded [ 12 , 13 ]. Studies on specific populations (women with complicated pregnancy) or on a specific scale of quality of life (sexual HRQOL or HRQOL in relation to faecal incontinence, etc.) were also excluded, as it is not possible to compare patients with different pathologies.

HRQOL measurement

The most frequently used HRQOL instruments during pregnancy are the Medical Outcomes Study Short Form 36 survey (SF-36), the Medical Outcomes Study Short Form 12 survey (SF-12), the World Health Organization’s Quality of Life Scale (WHOQOL) and the World Health Organization’s Quality of Life Scale – BREF (WHOQOL – Bref).

The SF-36 includes 36 items and collects information on eight health concepts including, physical functioning, role limitations due to physical and emotional health, mental health, bodily pain, general health, vitality and social functioning. These items are scored providing a component summary scale score for both mental (SF36-MCS) and physical (SF36-PCS) HRQOL (from 0 to 100) [ 14 ]. The SF-12 is a validated shortened version of the SF-36. A lower score on the summary scales represents a poorer HRQOL.

The WHOQOL includes 100 questions grouped into 6 categories (physical, psychological, independence, social, environmental and spiritual) (from 0 to 100). The WHOQOL-BREF instrument comprises 26 items and is a validated shortened version of the WHOQOL. A lower score on the summary scales represents a poorer HRQOL.

Article selection and quality assessment

A preliminary selection was made from the titles, then another on reading the summaries and a lastly on a reading of the entire article. Publications “related” to the selected articles as well as the bibliography of the selected articles were also examined. Two independent reviewers extracted the data (LN and IG). Disagreement between reviewers was resolved by consensus. The quality of the articles was evaluated using the STROBE criteria (STrengthening the Reporting of OBservational studies in Epidemiology) [ 15 ].

The results were organised in two sections: first, a description of the quality of life of pregnant women in developed countries and second, by the socio-demographic, physical and psychological factors associated with their quality of life. When the study compared two quality of life scales, we used only the “Gold Standard” scale. In the case-control studies where the controls were a particular subgroup, we have retained the “control” group that was most representative of the general population of pregnant women, where all subjects in the study would have resulted in a serious selection bias.

Article selection

The article selection is described in Fig.  1 . Of the 1487 articles retrieved, 37 were selected for our analysis (Fig. 1 and Table  1 ). The methodological quality was rated from 11 to 22 in the selected articles. The selected articles were published between 2001 and 2016. The samples of pregnant women included in the studies varied between 55 and 12,056 women. Concerning the design of the selected studies, twenty were cross-sectional studies [ 16 , 17 , 18 , 19 , 20 , 21 , 22 , 23 , 24 , 25 , 26 , 27 , 28 , 29 , 30 , 31 , 32 , 33 , 34 , 35 ], four were case-controlled studies [ 36 , 37 , 38 ], and fourteen were longitudinal cohort studies [ 14 , 39 , 40 , 41 , 42 , 43 , 44 , 45 , 46 , 47 , 48 , 49 , 50 , 51 ]. Thirteen studies were conducted during the first trimester of pregnancy [ 17 , 20 , 22 , 23 , 26 , 30 , 38 , 39 , 40 , 44 , 45 , 46 , 47 ], eleven were from the second trimester [ 14 , 16 , 24 , 35 , 38 , 39 , 40 , 41 , 45 , 46 , 48 ], eighteen were from the 3rd trimester [ 14 , 18 , 19 , 27 , 29 , 31 , 33 , 34 , 37 , 38 , 39 , 40 , 41 , 42 , 46 , 48 , 49 , 50 ] and six studies focused on the entire pregnancy [ 25 , 28 , 32 , 36 , 43 , 51 ]. In measuring the quality of life, nineteen studies used SF-36 [ 14 , 17 , 18 , 19 , 21 , 22 , 25 , 26 , 27 , 30 , 33 , 34 , 38 , 39 , 40 , 41 , 44 , 46 , 51 ], twelve studies used SF-12 [ 16 , 20 , 23 , 24 , 28 , 29 , 35 , 42 , 43 , 46 , 48 , 50 ], two studies used the WHOQOL Brief [ 32 , 47 ], one study used The Duke Health Profile [ 49 ], and another Nottingham Health Profile [ 31 ].

figure 1

Flow chart of the study selection

The quality of life of pregnant women

Comparison with the general population.

The quality of life of pregnant women was generally lower than that of the general population. Two studies explicitly compared their results with those of non-pregnant women of the same age. On the SF-36 scale, Da Costa et al. found physical activity and physical pain values equal to 56.7 and 61.7; these values were 90.9 and 75.0 for non-pregnant Canadian women of the same age [ 18 ]. Similarly, Nakamura et al. made similar comparisons in Japan [ 38 ]. The Chan et al. study in 2010 also found that pregnant women had, on average, statistically lower QOL scores ( p  < 0.001) compared to the general population, excepting general health ( p  = 0.1) [ 17 , 18 ]. Similarly, Elsenbruch et al. [ 20 ] found a reduced quality of life, physically, when compared to German women of the same age ( p  < 0.001).

The progression of the quality of life during the trimesters

Of the 23 studies selected, 20 (86,9%) described the progression of QOL using SF-36 or SF-12 (Figs. 2 , 3 ). The study of the SF-36 PCS and MCS aggregate scores revealed that there were significant variations during the trimesters (Fig. 2 ).

figure 2

Changes in PCS and MCS over trimesters

figure 3

Evolution of the 8 dimensions of SF-36 during the trimesters

The PCS values ranged from 48 to 61 during the 1st trimester; between 39 and 55 during the 2nd trimester; between 37.5, and 47.5 during the 3rd trimester. For SF-12, values ranged from 44 to 46 in the 1st trimester, 43 and 50 in the 2nd trimester and 41 and 45 in the 3rd trimester. The results of the studies indicated a decrease in physical quality of life throughout pregnancy, particularly related to decreased physical activity and functional limitations (related to physical health and physical pain). In terms of prevalence, the Haas et al. study in 2005 showed an increase in pregnant women with poor physical quality of life during pregnancy: 9% of pregnant women in the second trimester, and 13% in the third trimester [ 14 ]. The proportion of pregnant women reporting generally poor health (score 0 to 50) increased from 15.5 to 20.1 and 26.9% and then decreased to 21% in the postpartum period [ 49 ].

The MCS values were as follows for the SF-36: in the 1st trimester values between a minimum of 51 and a maximum of 58; in the 2nd trimester between 49 and 62; in the 3rd trimester between 49.5 and 66. In parallel with SF-12, the MCS was between 47 and 48 in the first trimester, between 49 and 52 in the second trimester and 50 and 54 in the third trimester. In five studies, the quality of mental life of the pregnant women increased or remained stable over the course of the trimesters (Fig. 2 ).

The evolution of the 8 dimensions of SF-36 during the quarters is presented in Fig. 3 . The following domains had the lowest scores: role limitations due to physical problems (RP) and vitality (VT). The following domains had the highest scores: general health perceptions (GH) and bodily pain (BP). The results concerning the role limitations due to emotional problems (RE) varied across studies.

Factors influencing quality of life

The results of studies on the factors associated with the quality of life of pregnant women are presented in Tables  2 and 3 . Thirty-three articles were selected for this section.

Socio-demographic factors

The following socio-demographic factors were strongly associated with a better quality of life in 15 studies: mean maternal age, primiparity, early gestational age, the absence of economic problems, a high educational level, being employed, being married, having family and friends. With less consensus, belonging to an ethnic minority and alcohol consumption have also been associated in 2 studies with a poorer quality of life.

Physical factors

Medically assisted reproduction, obstetric complications, medical history, possible hospitalisation and obesity were factors frequently indicating a poor quality of life during pregnancy (in 9 studies). Physical symptoms associated with pregnancy such as nausea and vomiting, epigastralgia, reflux, shortness of breath, dizziness, back pain and sleep problems affected women’s quality of life. Exercise was a factor that improved the quality of life of pregnant women. With less consensus, we found other factors associated with a poorer QOL such as smoking during the months prior to conception, a history of alcohol dependence and poor comfort.

Psychological factors

Eight studies have shown that symptoms of depression, anxiety, and stress were factors that had a strong negative impact on the quality of life of pregnant women. Sexual and domestic violence was linked to a lower quality of life, as well as the experience of life-threatening events and the experience of infertility. Happiness at being pregnant and being optimistic were factors related to a better quality of life.

Summary of results

Pregnant women, especially during the third trimester, had significantly lower quality of life scores than non-pregnant women of the same age. Physically, the quality of life decreased significantly during the course of the trimesters. On a psychological level, several studies reported an increase in quality of life relative to mental health during pregnancy, and in others psychological stability was seen. Many factors were associated with the quality of life in pregnant women. Some factors associated with higher well-being were socio-demographic (first-time pregnancy, a favourable socio-economic status, social support, partner support). Similarly, the desire to be pregnant and moderate physical activity were factors associated with a positive quality of life. A lesser quality of life was attributed to physical factors, (such as complications during pregnancy, medically assisted reproduction, obesity prior to conception, physical symptoms such as nausea and vomiting, sleep difficulties), and otherwise attributed to psychological factors, (such as anxiety and stress during pregnancy and depressive symptoms).

Strengths and limitations of the study

To our knowledge, this is the only systematic review of international literature aimed at synthesizing data regarding the quality of life of pregnant women. Many factors have been studied, considering the different dimensions of the quality of life, for pregnant women in general good health. This work also has its limitations: the research only included articles written in English or French. Therefore, the issue of generalizability should be discussed. In addition, two other articles could not be read in their entirety. Within the selected studies, few studies were multi-centric and only one study used information from a large national survey. In addition, we found a high degree of heterogeneity in the methodology for population selection, in choosing the quality of life scale, as well as in the results presented (dimensions of SF-36, composite scores, etc) complicating the synthesis study. Specific HRQOL questionnaires were not included because they are focused more on specific problems in pregnancy (such as nausea and vomiting) rather than on women’s overall well-being and their quality of life. With regard to the quality of these studies, three studies did not explicitly take into account the confounding factors in the presentation of the results [ 22 , 38 , 47 ], which may lead to confusion bias. In addition, a large number of studies were cross-sectional. These studies did not establish an associative cause-and-effect relationship.

Research and policy implications

In some countries, the quality of life of pregnant woman has been little studied. In France, for example, only one study provided information on pregnant women well-being [ 6 ] (study not included in our analysis – cf. exclusion criteria). In this study, the mental health of pregnant women was measured through the following question: “On a psychological level, how did you feel during your pregnancy? Well, Quite well, Quite poor, Poor”. Of the 14,326 women interviewed, 8.9% reported poor self-rated mental health during pregnancy. Moreover, sociodemographic characteristics indicative of social disadvantage were associated with a higher-risk of poor quality of life; sometimes, a social gradient was observed. [ 6 , 52 ]. Since SF-36 is a generic scale, it allows comparisons with chronic pathologies such as diabetes. The results obtained concerning physical activity and pain in pregnant women can be compared to those obtained for chronic diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and cancer [ 18 ]. A study by Sprangers et al. in 2000 found an average value of 58 in the “Physical Functions” and 64 in the “Bodily Pain” categories concerning diabetic patients [ 53 ]. In comparison, we found values between 53 and 77 for “Physical Functions” and between 48 and 74 for “Bodily Pain” in pregnant women. Moreover, quality of life refers to subjective elements that may vary from one culture to another. In the Coban et al. study undertaken in three countries over three continents: China, Ghana, USA [ 25 ], the subjective concepts of “well-being” or “vitality” were perceived and measured in very different ways on the three continents. This study did not focus on the quality of life of fathers. According to the Abassi et al. study, the quality of life of fathers was significantly higher during pregnancy and postpartum than that of their partner [ 39 ]. Specifically, their physical quality of life was significantly higher. Their mental quality of life was close, and there was no significant difference between them and their partner in two studies where this was studied [ 41 , 43 ]. Finally, we believe that it is necessary to systematically screen women having a poor quality of life during pregnancy. Studies have to determine whether a single question is sufficient in clinical practice or whether it is preferable to have a more specific questionnaire before the follow-up consultation.

Health-related quality of life refers to the subjective assessment of patients regarding the physical, mental and social dimensions of well-being. Women’s subjective perception of their health-related quality of life is an essential measure of the quality and effectiveness of maternal and child health interventions. However, few women (less than 20%) speak spontaneously about their psychological ill-health to a health professional. Health authorities’ recommendations are needed to better detect a poor quality of life of pregnant women and to evaluate the impact of care in terms of quality of life of pregnant women. Then, given the diversity of factors associated with the quality of life, the medical and paramedical professions need to work in cohesion with social agencies, networks, and associations.

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Conception and design: NL, GI. Collection and assembly of data: NL, NG, MS, SR, GI. Data analysis and interpretation: NL, NG, MS, SR, GI, AK, JC. Coordination of the research project, conception and interpretation of data: AMM. Substantial contributions to the first draft of the article: NL, NG, MS, SR, GI, AMM, AK, JC. Work on the revised version of the manuscript: MS and NG. Final approval of manuscript: All authors.

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Lagadec, N., Steinecker, M., Kapassi, A. et al. Factors influencing the quality of life of pregnant women: a systematic review. BMC Pregnancy Childbirth 18 , 455 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12884-018-2087-4

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  • Quality of life
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  • DOI: 10.1016/j.midw.2024.104103
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The Relationship of Depression, Anxiety, and Stress with Pregnancy Symptoms and Coping Styles in Pregnant Women: A Multi-Group Structural Equation Modeling Analysis

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41 References

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Pregnancy during a pandemic: The stress of COVID-19 on pregnant women and new mothers is showing

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The coronavirus has dramatically changed the hospital experience.

Pregnancy is stressful, to say the least, but COVID-19 brings new challenges to parents of newborns. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has identified pregnant women as a vulnerable population . If infected, they are more likely to be hospitalized and require ventilation and their risk of preterm birth goes up .

Economists predict that the U.S. may have at least 500,000 fewer births because of the pandemic. Deciding not to become pregnant during a pandemic is understandable, particularly in the U.S., as it is one of five countries worldwide and the only country classified as high-income by the World Bank, that does not mandate paid maternity leave for non-federally employed workers.

As scholars who study prenatal and postnatal stress, maternal nutrition and the brain development of children, we can tell you the pandemic has dramatically changed the pregnancy experience.

We are part of an international study to understand how women who are expecting to or have given birth are affected by stress related to the pandemic. We are finding that mothers are worried about catching the virus, transmitting it to their newborn and keeping their child safe during infancy. And this stress is on top of an already high stress load for pregnant women and new mothers.

COVID-19-positive pregnancies have been linked to abnormalities in the placenta . Those abnormalities potentially impact oxygen and nutrient delivery to the fetus. The long-term influence of the virus on the developing child is not yet known.

It seems unlikely, however, that a developing fetus can get COVID-19 from its infected mother. COVID-19 needs a receptor molecule to cause infection. A recent study suggests the placenta contains very low levels of the molecules needed to create the receptor. This finding may explain why the virus is rarely found in newborns with COVID-19-positive mothers.

There are other concerns, however, including the effects of stress on the mother-to-be.

Humans are confronted with stress on a daily basis. The physiological response to stress is well known. It leads to the release of hormones into the bloodstream, most notably cortisol. Even in pregnancy, some stress is necessary. During a typical pregnancy, maternal cortisol increases by two to four times . This is normal and critical to the development of organ systems in the fetus, like the lungs, liver and central nervous system.

However, people respond differently to identical stressful situations for a host of reasons. Young age, racial and ethnic disparities, poor education, poor preparation for pregnancy and a history of trauma are a few factors that can exacerbate the effects of stress. To make stress tolerable, adequate social support, access to supportive resources and economic stability are necessary .

Otherwise, continuous exposure to significant stress leads to unrelenting activation of the stress response. Chronic stress, or toxic stress, in pregnant women has been linked to complications like gestational diabetes, impaired fetal development, low birth weight, neurodevelopmental problems and preclampsia (high blood pressure).

A lack of control and information makes stress worse. Things such as not knowing how long the stress will last and how intense the stress will be add to a pregnant woman’s and new mother’s stress levels.

Due to coronavirus, the social support typically available to new parents is often not there.

The birth itself

The hospital experience for pregnant couples is now very different. Water baths are out. So is walking around the hospital. Most facilities allow only one support person present at the birth. If either parent tests positive for COVID-19 during hospital admission, they fear separation from the baby. These things often add even more stress.

When the family comes home, there is still risk. Infants could catch the disease from an infected parent. While children with COVID-19 generally don’t get as sick as adults , infants are an exception. Because of their immature respiratory and immune systems, they are at increased risk of severe illness compared to older children.

Faced with this possibility, parents of infants are advised to socially isolate. This may offer some advantages, but isolation also decreases access to childcare and other kinds of social support right at the time they need it the most.

Parental leave, studies say, leads to healthier babies.

The COPE study

As part of the COVID-19 and Perinatal Experience study , we are following women who are expecting to or have given birth during the pandemic to understand how they are affected by stress related to the pandemic. An initial review of data from over 500 Oregon women reveals they are significantly stressed; their levels of reported depression and anxiety are disturbing.

Approximately 75% say the pandemic is having an extreme impact on their daily life. The stress, they tell us, is from social isolation, loneliness, changes in hospital procedures, concerns about postnatal care and a lack of social support because they need to quarantine.

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The good news: prenatal stress during the pandemic can be reduced. A robust social support network is critical; friends and family are needed as new parents become exhausted and vulnerable to postpartum depression. Although COVID-19 makes in-person support difficult, if not impossible, technology – like Facetime and Zoom – can be a connector. Online group prenatal care is another possibility. So are relaxation and mindfulness techniques . A healthy diet, adequate sleep and exercise also help .

Why these women need more help than ever

Community health workers with pregnant clients can reduce stress by making sure basic needs are met. No longer is that only food, housing and insurance. Needs once considered extras, like internet service, are now essential.

Unfortunately - and leaving the internet aside - federal programs to help access food , housing , and insurance vary widely from one state to another. Without a unified federal mandate, social health disparities grow even more.

The Family and Medical Leave Act offers 12 weeks of job-protected leave. But it’s unpaid and it applies only if you work at a company with more than 50 employees. Many families, and especially single mothers, decline this offer . They need the income. Parental leave is linked to healthier babies ; they have better long-term outcomes as they develop. An investment in parental leave would, in the long run, save money.

Restructuring national policies to meet basic needs can help reduce the challenges faced by this under-served group. Without that support, the stress from COVID-19 could leave a long-lasting, multi-generational impact on pregnant couples and their children.

  • Coronavirus
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  • Introduction To Pregnancy

Introduction to Pregnancy

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Pregnancy is a unique, exciting and often joyous time in a woman's life, as it highlights the woman's amazing creative and nurturing powers while providing a bridge to the future. Pregnancy comes with some cost, however, for a pregnant woman needs also to be a responsible woman so as to best support the health of her future child. The growing fetus (the term used to denote the baby-to-be during early developmental stages) depends entirely on its mother's healthy body for all needs. Consequently, pregnant women must take steps to remain as healthy and well nourished as they possibly can. Pregnant women should take into account the many health care and lifestyle considerations described in this document.

Though we have tried to present relatively comprehensive coverage of pregnancy, this document should only be considered to be an overview. It will hopefully introduce you to some new ideas, and help you to learn about aspects of pregnancy that you may not have previously encountered, but it does not contain or provide all the information you will need to make informed choices as you go through your own actual pregnancy. Be sure to see your doctor when you become pregnant. Share with him or her any questions or concerns you may have about your pregnancy. Your doctor, and other specialized health care providers including nurses and midwives, will be some of your more important allies during your pregnancy. They are in the best position to guide you through the process and to make authoritative recommendations that will best benefit your baby-to-be's development and future health and welfare.

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207 Pregnancy Research Topics & Essay Titles + Examples

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Are you looking for interesting pregnancy research topics? You’ve come to the right place! StudyCorgi has created a list of engaging titles and questions on pregnancy issues for your writing assignments. On this page, you’ll find:

Look through the list of engaging titles below to find a good idea for your essay.
Explore different problems in obstetrics to write your pregnancy paper on.
Discover various issues to research about adolescent pregnancy.
Get inspired by lots of amazing essay samples on pregnancy and prenatal development.
  • Teen Pregnancy Prevention
  • Pregnancy and Spirituality in the Filipino Culture
  • Healthy Nutrition During Pregnancy
  • Teenage Pregnancy in Modern Society
  • Teen Pregnancy Persuasive Speech Plan
  • Teenage Pregnancy Problem
  • Adolescent Pregnancy and Nursing Role in Prevention
  • Effects of Teen Pregnancy on Mother and Child This work sets itself the task of investigating the biological and psychological consequences that teenage pregnancy has on young mothers and their children.
  • Teenage Pregnancy in the United Kingdom Teenage pregnancy in the United Kingdom is a phenomenon that significantly affects the socio-cultural and economic domain of the country.
  • Complication of Pregnancy: Pregnancy Induced Hypertension (PIH) The childbirth class, which was held at Sibley Memorial Hospital taught parents how to handle experiences that they undergo during the first, second, and third trimesters.
  • Nutritional Support During Pregnancy Pregnancy is a complex process which impacts the woman’s physiology, and its multidimensional effect on the organism can be mitigated by proper nutritional strategies.
  • Teenage Pregnancy in Barking and Dagenham Borough Teenage pregnancy is a global health concern that impacts the population of adolescent girls in many countries with different prevalence rates with similar persistence.
  • Ectopic Pregnancy An ectopic pregnancy occurs when a fertilized egg implants in another location other than the uterine cavity. It’s life-threatening complication and at most times not viable.
  • The Details of the Pregnancy and Birth History The paper states that the details of the pregnancy and birth history are instrumental in defining the possible health risks of the child.
  • Professional Health Care Therapeutic Communication: Elaine’s Pregnancy The purpose of this paper is to discuss Elaine’s case in detail with a focus on the dilemma of adoption and the possibility of being sympathetic with Elaine.
  • Pregnancy, Fetal Development and the Mother Considering the importance of the childbearing process and its delicate nature, it is important for mothers to ensure they adopt good lifestyles accompanied with exercises.
  • Physical Activity in Pregnancy: A Qualitative Study The researchers recommend that additional studies on the subject of healthcare instructions for pregnant women should be conducted.
  • Problems of Adolescent Pregnancy in Modern Society Adolescent pregnancy is a serious issue that needs much discussion as it is involved with the future citizens of the world.
  • Laws on Pregnancy Discrimination in Workplace It is appropriate to introduce a reporting system that would help the employees to provide their comments and deliver the necessary information if there is any suspicion of discrimination.
  • Teenage Pregnancy Objectives and Causes The proposed research aims to generate specific evidence on the causes, prevalence, and solving potential for teenage pregnancy in Barking and Dagenham Borough.
  • Teenage Pregnancy as a Global Problem Teenage pregnancy is a global problem, mostly stemming from the socioeconomic conditions of child development.
  • Pregnancy and Workplace Accidents The current workplace problem has deep roots in the social and historical premises that lead to the currently observed situations in the company.
  • Aspects of Pregnancy and Childbirth The paper discusses the psychology of pregnancy and the stages of caring for a child up to adulthood. It studies the pregnancy process.
  • Analysis of A. Ahmed’s Pregnancy Counseling Pregnant women receiving specialized advice during pregnancy may be crucial to increasing the quality of their well-being throughout the childbearing process.
  • Problem of Teen Pregnancy in Society Teen pregnancy prevention is incredibly important because it helps to reduce the number of young mothers and complications that are associated with childbearing at this age.
  • Nutritional Requirements During Pregnancy Close attention should be paid to such things as pregnant nutritional requirements, the physiology and physiology of pregnancy, and factors that affect the nutrition during the pregnancy.
  • Discussion: Alcohol in Pregnancy It is significant to emphasize that the safe level of alcohol that a woman can drink during pregnancy has not been confirmed.
  • Teen Pregnancy as Public Health Concern Teen pregnancy is a significant public health concern that can have long-lasting implications for both the mother and child.
  • Teen Pregnancy as a Health Issue The economic and legal landscape related to teen pregnancy has positively and negatively impacted the American healthcare system.
  • Pregnancies in Advanced Maternal Age Patients and medical experts believe advanced maternal age is linked with worse pregnancy effects. This is due to older women having a higher rate of long-term medical issues.
  • Substance Use Disorder During Pregnancy: Project Translation and Planning The paper seeks to enhance the quality of substance use disorder management in pregnant women by implementing a holistic approach following clinical guidelines.
  • Public Health Efforts to Support Mothers During Pregnancy Obesity, hypertension, bleeding, malnutrition, and mental health issues are some of the common problems a woman may face during and after pregnancy.
  • Drug Abuse During Pregnancy: Policy Options Heated discussions on whether or not drug abuse during pregnancy should be illegal due to the potential risks to the developing fetus or child persist.
  • Pregnancy as an Adolescent Health Risk The urgency of the problem of teenage pregnancy forces us to continue to look for ways to reduce its prevalence. Although the actions are already working, they may not be enough.
  • Equal Employment Opportunity Laws: The Pregnancy Discrimination Act The paper discusses one of the most interesting and surprising equal employment opportunity laws. It is the Pregnancy Discrimination Act.
  • Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention Teenage pregnancy is a major problem, existing in all the countries all over the world, including the United States.
  • Teenage Pregnancy in Columbia District District of Columbia is amongst the regions with a high number of teenage pregnancies. Girls between the age of 14 and 19 are highly likely to get pregnant and dropout of school.
  • Wealth, Opportunity, and Teen Pregnancy Relationship Girls from disadvantaged families are much more at risk of early pregnancy, as such children often suffer from a lack of sexual education.
  • Teen Pregnancy: Effects on Teenagers Teen pregnancy can lead to a deterioration in the physical and psychological health of a teenager, as well as negative socio-economic consequences.
  • Pregnancy and Reproductive Health in Public Views Depending on the society and culture in which the couple lives, the attitude towards pregnancy and childbirth may differ.
  • The Arguments in Favor of Pregnancy Termination Decriminalization The examination of the existing literature and consideration of various opinions show that the arguments in favor of abortion decriminalization outweigh the opposite views.
  • Adolescent Pregnancy: Applying the Theory of Paradox Prior to gaining a deeper understanding of how the United States of America copes with the issue of adolescent pregnancy, it should be crucial to take a look at 42 million teenagers.
  • Diet and Lifestyle Before and During Pregnancy Sustenance directing is a foundation of pre-birth care for all women during pregnancy. A woman’s wholesome status impacts her well-being.
  • Ectopic Pregnancy: Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment There is no definite cause of ectopic pregnancy but there are some conditions that are linked with it. This paper also discusses diagnosis, treatment, prevention of such pregnancy.
  • Drinking and Smoking During Pregnancy Smoking and drinking alcohol is a wrong decision for a pregnant woman who wants to heighten the chances of light delivery and good health for her child.
  • The Teenage Pregnancy Problem in the US Teenage pregnancy in America is complicated by the fact that teenagers are not encouraged to embrace their sexuality although American media is dominated by this topic.
  • Maternal Stress in Pregnancy: Effects on Fetal Development The study seeks to find out if the development of the nervous system of the fetus is closely influenced by the psychological wellbeing of the mother.
  • Teenage Pregnancy and the Means to Address It: A Case Scenario Despite the fact that the awareness concerning the threats of teen pregnancy has been raised efficiently, the instances of teen pregnancy still occur.
  • Reducing Cases of Domestic Violence at All Stages of Pregnancy This essay suggests that intervention mechanisms should be established to reduce cases of domestic violence at all stages of pregnancy.
  • A Latino Youth Photovoice Project on Teen Pregnancy The improvements within the education should have been discussed in a more thorough manner; the means of increasing teen pregnancy awareness among Latin American students.
  • Researching of Pregnancy and Alcohol Abuse In order to address the issue of alcohol abuse during pregnancy, the interprofessional team should consider the current trends and recommendations on maternal alcohol consumption
  • Teen Pregnancy and Father Teens Teen pregnancy is common in the United States. This paper aims to explain what techniques and programs to help father teens exist in the United States.
  • Adaptations to Pregnancy and Major Hormones During pregnancy, the human body has to undergo certain physiological changes to create appropriate conditions for the fetus and to maintain a woman’s health.
  • Cardiac Disease During Pregnancy Diagnosis of heart diseases during pregnancy can be done through checking patient’s medical history, physical examination, and chest examination.
  • Teenage Pregnancy After Exposure to Poverty: Causation and Communication In the study “Counterfactual Models of Neighborhood Effects,” Harding used the counterfactual causal framework.
  • Health Care Act as It Apply in Surrogate Pregnancy The purpose of this paper is to review the article about the issue of surrogacy and the law that applies. In this case, it is the health care law involving ethics.
  • Adolescent Pregnancy in the USA While teen pregnancy rates have been declining for the past decades, it remains one of the most serious public health concerns in modern American society.
  • Optimal Growth and Development: Pregnancy Prenatal care and fetal development, nutrition during pregnancy, pregnancy care facilities and substance abuse during pregnancy are major issues in Australia Capital Territory.
  • Development of Protocols for Early Pregnancy This study analyzes the development of early pregnancy protocols that can be potentially useful to clinicians when dealing with the care of pregnant mothers.
  • Exposure to Low Levels of Alcohol During Pregnancy There are no solid reasons for the mother to drink alcohol during pregnancy, and, as the safe dose is hard to establish.
  • Teen Pregnancy and Single Young Mothers This essay intends to look at the health perspective that has been taken towards prevention of teenage pregnancies and promotion of health together with disease prevention.
  • Implanon Failure Resulting in Ectopic Pregnancy This article discusses the implanon method of contraception and the mechanism by which its failure leads to an ectopic pregnancy.
  • Discussion: Care Plans for Pregnancy This article focuses on developing a care plan that includes all the necessary procedures, treatments, and information that the mom-to-be will need.
  • Asthma in Pregnancy and Intervention The goal of this treatment plan is to maintain optimal respiratory function, prevent chronic symptoms, and reduce exacerbation.
  • Teen Pregnancy. The Evolution of Family Policy Teen pregnancy is a devastating issue that probably exists on all levels, and it would be wiser to focus on the local one, but conversations reveal more unfortunate circumstances.
  • A Qualitative Study of Pregnancy and Maternal Mortality in the US The paper explores how women endanger their pregnancies by their behaviors and what barriers to healthy lifestyles they encounter.
  • The Impacts of Substance Abuse on Pregnancy The consequences of substance abuse on pregnancy are very diverse: both physiological and psychological and there are many specific aspects which have not been fully discussed.
  • Main Risk Factors of the First Period of Pregnancy The first period of pregnancy is called the first trimester of pregnancy and it is the time most of the changes occur in the body of the mother to tune it to the necessities of the budding baby
  • Adolescent Pregnancy Issue Analysis Adolescent pregnancy is usually used to refer to young girls aged between the ages of thirteen and nineteen becoming pregnant and especially out of wedlock.
  • Health. Prevention of Pregnancy The availability and application of safe and modern methods of contraception have allowed women to avoid or decrease the number of unplanned, teenage pregnancies.
  • Alcohol Cessation in Pregnancy The problem of alcohol use during pregnancy attracts the attention of different researchers. The paper offers evidence-based concepts for promoting alcohol cessation.
  • Teenage Pregnancies Reduction in Local Community The qualitative methodology of analysis includes trials of adolescent pregnancy interventions such as education, free contraceptives, and other measures.
  • The Issue of Adolescent Pregnancy as a Major Social Problem The purpose of this study is to investigate the issue of adolescent pregnancy as a significant challenge that affects society across the globe.
  • Pregnancy in Teenagers: Possible Challenges In order to decrease the overall rate of teenage pregnancy, it is crucial to address the populations that are disproportionately affected by the issue.
  • Methotrexate in Ectopic Pregnancy Treatment Treatment of ectopic pregnancy (EP) with drug therapy is a relatively new decision since a surgical operation was considered the only way to eliminate the anomaly of the fetus.
  • Pregnancy, Human Development and Heredity This paper presents the physiological concepts that revolve around pregnancy and their implication in human development.
  • Teenage Pregnancy and Bioethical Decision-Making The hypothetical situation that will be considered in the current paper is that of a girl aged 16 who got pregnant but then was diagnosed with pre-eclampsia.
  • Teenage Pregnancy, Its Health and Social Outcomes The issue of teen pregnancy is a well-established concern in the field of healthcare. The issue leads to several health problems for both mothers and their children.
  • Adolescent Pregnancy in Hispanics and Afro-Americans This statement defines and explores the problem of adolescent pregnancy in Hispanic and black females and provides a position statement on the issue.
  • Eating for Pregnancy: the Essential Nutrition Guide Health care experts argue that pregnant women should always have proper diet that provides their body with the essential nutrients.
  • Asthma During Pregnancy, Its Symptoms and Treatment This paper analyzes a case of asthma during pregnancy, provides classification of symptoms, and submitted suggestions of treatment.
  • The Issue of Adolescent Pregnancy in the United States The issue of adolescent pregnancy is of concern to the US policy makers because of its effects. Statistics show that at least one million teenagers become pregnant each year.
  • Latino Youth Teen Pregnancy This article offers the best concepts towards dealing with teen pregnancy. The findings are also applicable in different societies. The authors have used the best approach to get their results.
  • Risk of Early Pregnancies among Latina Teens The research explored the relationships and cultural habits of the Pacific Northwest community that encouraged or prevented the rate of teenage pregnancies.
  • School Sex Education and Teenage Pregnancy in the United States The United States government has heavily invested in the abstinence-only education program in a bid to alleviate teenage pregnancy.
  • Sex Education Curricula can and has Reduced the Number of Pregnancies in Fayette and Shelby County The paper aims at discussing the causes of teen pregnancies in the United States and how they affect parents, children and the society.
  • Teenage Pregnancy and Its Negative Outcomes Teenage pregnancy is a public health issue because of its negative effects on prenatal outcomes, long-term morbidity, high prevalence of poverty and low level of education.
  • Psychological Vulnerability During Pregnancy and the Postpartum Period
  • Analysis of the Consequences of Substance Abuse During Pregnancy
  • Can Teenage Pregnancy Prevent Academic and Professional Progress in Nigeria
  • General Information About the First Trimester and Exacerbations of Pregnancy
  • Alcohol Abuse, Self Esteem and Teenage Pregnancy Among Adolescents
  • Pregnancy, Viral Infection, and COVID-19
  • How the Pregnancy Affect Working Women’s Professional Experiences
  • Fetal Abuse During Pregnancy
  • How Exercise Affects the Third Trimester of Pregnancy
  • Prenatal Development and Birth Pregnancy
  • Connection Between Teenage Pregnancy and Socioeconomic Status
  • Healthy Diet and Lifestyle in Pregnancy
  • Myasthenia Gravis Can Have Consequences for Pregnancy and the Developing Child
  • Diagnosing and Treating Acute Myocardial Infarction in Pregnancy
  • Depression During Pregnancy: Nursing Role, Interventions
  • Immunological Tolerance, Pregnancy, and Preeclampsia: The Roles of Semen Microbes and the Father
  • African American Teens and the Psychological Impact of Pregnancy
  • High-Risk Pregnancy and Women With Complex Health
  • Can Getting Enough Vitamin D During Pregnancy Reduce the Risk of Getting Asthma in Childhood?
  • Healthy Pregnancy Pilates Helps Expecting Mothers
  • Child Pregnancy Prevention Program on the United States of Diverse Found
  • Gestational Diabetes and How to Treat the Disease During Pregnancy
  • How the Pregnancy Affects Your Lifestyle Choices Affect You and Your Bab
  • Race and Pregnancy-Related Care in Brazil and South Africa
  • Addiction and Substance Abuse During Pregnancy
  • Reducing Teen Pregnancy With Sex Education
  • Does School-Based Intervention Help Prevent Teen Pregnancy
  • Adolescent Pregnancy and Parenthood: Recent Evidence and Future Directions
  • Gaining Weight Too Slowly During Pregnancy
  • Physical and Psychosocial Changes During Pregnancy With Early
  • Consuming Alcohol During Pregnancy Causes Significant Damage to the Fetu
  • Factors That Affect the Health of Women During Pregnancy
  • Adolescent Sexual Activity and Pregnancy
  • Eating Well Even After Your Pregnancy
  • How Alcohol Drinking During Pregnancy Is Associated With Hyperactivity in Children
  • Alcohol Consumption and Smoking During Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy, Birthing, and Postpartum Experiences During COVID-19 in the United States
  • How Preterm Labor Occurs During the Last Stages of Pregnancy
  • How Pregnancy Affects Memory and Attention
  • Applications for Bacteriophage Therapy During Pregnancy and the Perinatal Period
  • Special Dietary Requirements for Pregnancy
  • Addressing the Social Concerns in Teenage Pregnancy
  • Fetal Alcohol Syndrome FAS Children Pregnancy
  • Early Pregnancy Among Adolescent Females With Serious
  • Breast Cancer During Pregnancy: A Marked Propensity to Triple-Negative Phenotype
  • How Pregnancy Pillows Can Save Your Back
  • High School Dropout Rates and Teen Pregnancy
  • Caffeine Consumption During Pregnancy Accelerates the Development of Cognitive Deficits in Offspring in a Model of Tauopathy
  • Psychosocial Development and the Effects of Teenage Pregnancy
  • Pre-pregnancy Body Mass Index and Weight Gain During Pregnancy
  • Genetic Testing and Counseling in Pregnancy
  • Artificial Conception, Early Pregnancy and Other Issues Concerning Fertility
  • Prenatal Care and Pregnancy Outcome in Cebu, Philippines
  • How Teenage Pregnancy Stops Students From Finishing What They Started
  • Health Capital and the Prenatal Environment: The Effect of Maternal Fasting During Pregnancy
  • Hypertensive Disorders During Pregnancy
  • Healthy Lifestyle Can Minimize Pregnancy Risk Factors
  • Pregnancy Induced Hypertension Causes and Treatments
  • Child Raising Costs From Pregnancy to the Child’s First Birthday
  • Contraceptive Methods for Preventing Unplanned Pregnancy
  • The Importance of Taking Folic Acid During Pregnancy
  • Immunogenicity and Clinical Efficacy of Influenza Vaccination in Pregnancy
  • Drug Addiction and Teenage Pregnancy Criminology
  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome During Pregnancy
  • Adolescent Pregnancy Among Hispanic Youth
  • Drug Use During Pregnancy and Its Effect on Prenatal Development
  • Pregnancy, Smoking and Babies’ Low Birth Weight
  • General Information About Safe Yoga for Pregnancy
  • Exercise and Nutrition During Pregnancy
  • Animals and Pregnancy Behaviors
  • Problems With Teen Pregnancy in Oklahoma
  • Adolescent Pregnancy and Childbirth Is an Important Public
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis and Planning Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy and Mental Illness Treatment
  • Antiphospholipid Antibodies and Antiphospholipid Syndrome During Pregnancy: Diagnostic Concepts
  • What Is the Effect of Nonobstetric Operation During Pregnancy?
  • Wha Is the Relationship Child Sexual Abuse and Teenage Pregnancy?
  • Does Certain Economic Factors Affect Abortions in Teenage Pregnancy?
  • Does Parental Consent for Birth Control Affect Underage Pregnancy Rates?
  • Does School Based Intervention Help Prevent Teen Pregnancy?
  • Does the Pregnancy Necessarily Mean Parenthood?
  • How Can Society Prevent and Avoid Unwanted Teenage Pregnancy?
  • How Early Suction Abortion Is Performed Before the Pregnancy Test Is Positive?
  • How Exercise Affects the Third Trimester of Pregnancy?
  • How Nutrition and Lifestyle Through the Periods of Pregnancy?
  • How Physical Activity Affects the Mother During Pregnancy?
  • How Preterm Labor Occurs During the Last Stages of Pregnancy?
  • What Is the Influence of Pregnancy on the Sensitivity of the Cornea?
  • What Genetic Conflicts in Human Pregnancy Are There?
  • What Is Surgical Management of Leiomyomata During Pregnancy?
  • What Are Some Recent Developments in the Government of Pregnancy?
  • How Teenage Pregnancy Affects the High School Dropout Rate?
  • How the Pregnancy Affect Working Women’s Professional Experience?
  • What Is the Role of Mycoplasmas in Pregnancy Outcome?
  • What Is Relationship of Psychological Factors in Pregnancy to Progress in Labor?
  • Is Pregnancy Anxiety a Distinctive Syndrome?
  • What Are the Effects of Drug Abuse on Pregnancy?
  • What Is the Epidemiology of Diabetes and Pregnancy in the US?
  • Why Comprehensive Sex Education Can Help Prevent Teenage Pregnancy in Philadelphia?
  • Why Does Poverty Increase the Risk to Teen Pregnancy?
  • How does sex education affect teenage pregnancy rates?
  • What are the social and economic effects of teen pregnancy?
  • How does family support influence teenage pregnancy outcomes?
  • How do media portrayals affect public attitudes toward teen pregnancy?
  • What are the psychological effects of adolescent pregnancy?
  • What is the difference in teen pregnancy rates in urban and rural areas?
  • What challenges do teenage fathers face?
  • What are the long-term health impacts of adolescent pregnancy?
  • How do cultural norms affect teenagers’ decisions about sexual activity?
  • What challenges do teenage parents face within the education system?
  • The impact of teenage pregnancy on career opportunities.
  • Effectiveness of teen pregnancy prevention programs.
  • The influence of stigma surrounding adolescent pregnancy.
  • Teen pregnancy challenges faced by LGBTQ adolescents.
  • The link between adverse childhood events and teen pregnancy.
  • The connection between substance abuse and teenage pregnancy.
  • The effectiveness of abstinence-only sex education programs.
  • The effects of teen pregnancy on young mothers’ physical and mental health.
  • Comparing teen pregnancy rates in developed and developing countries.
  • The link between child marriage and teen pregnancy.

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StudyCorgi. (2021, November 12). 207 Pregnancy Research Topics & Essay Titles + Examples. https://studycorgi.com/ideas/pregnancy-essay-topics/

"207 Pregnancy Research Topics & Essay Titles + Examples." StudyCorgi , 12 Nov. 2021, studycorgi.com/ideas/pregnancy-essay-topics/.

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StudyCorgi . "207 Pregnancy Research Topics & Essay Titles + Examples." November 12, 2021. https://studycorgi.com/ideas/pregnancy-essay-topics/.

StudyCorgi . 2021. "207 Pregnancy Research Topics & Essay Titles + Examples." November 12, 2021. https://studycorgi.com/ideas/pregnancy-essay-topics/.

These essay examples and topics on Pregnancy were carefully selected by the StudyCorgi editorial team. They meet our highest standards in terms of grammar, punctuation, style, and fact accuracy. Please ensure you properly reference the materials if you’re using them to write your assignment.

This essay topic collection was updated on June 24, 2024 .

Physical Exercise During Pregnancy Essay

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Credibility

Transferability, dependability, confirmability, trustworthiness.

This study results from an increased scientific interest in strategies that encourage physical exercise during the expectancy period. The goals of this qualitative approach are to investigate the perspectives and perspectives of obese and overweight pregnant women, as well as to inform programs that encourage physical exercise during pregnancy. The specimens for this study were haggard from a previous study on physical workout valuations in pregnancy using a stratified test group technique (Kashlan et al., 2020). The investigators chose volunteers founded on their BMI. The contemporary study’s themes were chosen based on their BMI at the spell of booking and symmetry. Obese and overweight pregnant women were cross-examined in participant observations and in-depth discussions.

The Framework Model was used to analyze the data, which the Planned Behavior Theory informed. The study’s outcomes exposed that good consumption was regarded as more substantial than bodily workout for the well-being of both infant and mother. Maintaining physical activity can help reduce perinatal mortality and weight gain. External and internal impediments to physical exercise, however, were identified. Respondents also needed reliable data, counsel, and help on the benefits of regular activity during maternity (Kashlan et al., 2020). It was categorical that interventions on satisfactory levels of intellectual action and their benefits for the mother and newborn should be escorted by readily accessible and quality management plans.

Credibility is synonymous with internal consistency and can be acquired via sustained involvement and observation. Subjects in this research were instructed to wear a pedometer for seven days at two or three intervals. Semi-structured, exhaustive interview questions were performed using a topic guide to permit a more widespread study of the participants’ viewpoints and perspectives responsively and flexibly. The discussions, which ranged from 45-55 minutes, were piloted and auditory apprehended in the patient’s home-based with their consent. Even though no usual amount of time should be dedicated to each respondent, this article suggests that the investigators in this test case recognized trustworthiness through collaboration, observation, member-checking, and follow-up.

Transferability is an additional word for generalization, which refer to to how moveable the results are to several settings and persons. The study and its conclusions are appealing and appropriate to other people in similar circumstances. At the beginning of their pregnancy, a cumulative proportion of females are obese or overweight. This condition may destructively distress both mother’s and child’s urgent and Longwell-being. The scientists were allowed to provide a complete overview of the population and create links between their outcomes and those from other publications using deliberate selection. However, the study had certain shortcomings. The sample size was limited, and it was drawn from women who had presumably participated in a research study of physical exercise during pregnancy and were already encouraged to live healthy lifestyles.

In quantitative analysis, dependability is synonymous with reliability. It is life-threatening to reliability since it authorizes the research consequences as regular and reproducible. Three tests were performed during the research’s analysis and design stages to guarantee relevance and consistency (Tappen, 2016). A subject guide was utilized to ensure that each participant spoke about a similar variety of issues, and two study team representatives read five of the discussions and approved the coding scheme. The investigators achieved theoretical completion after only 12 interviewees, and many of the original study themes are comparable to those documented from other investigations, giving them conviction in the dependability of their results.

The last standard essential to verify an investigator’s reliability is conformability. It is associated to the degree of inevitability that the learning’s assumptions are founded on the accomplices’ experiences and utterances rather than investigator prejudices. The scientists were cautious in this analysis to preserve the survey’s credibility by highlighting the contestants’ range of interactive, acceptable, and acceptable boldness. Members’ exact comments were involved in the dataset, and their viewpoints and views were reflected while constructing involvements.

This writer believes that the scientists achieved trust in their research since they covered all four elements or criteria of trustworthiness. They employed a conceptual framework while keeping potential bias into account. The article’s scheme and implementation were aimed at maintaining the study’s reliability and validity which are fundamental principles of every technical investigation. The survey’s restrictions were the inadequate sample population and the reality that there was only one non-white respondent in the study. One thing they could have prepared much better was to increase the sample size and integrate precise demographics to improve the research generalizability of the findings.

Kashlan, R., Varghesse, A., Qadri, F., Favot, M., & G. Mariona, F. (2020). Observational descriptive study of clinical outcomes on extremely obese pregnant, nulliparous women carrying a single term fetus in Vertex presentation (NTSV). International Journal of Gynecological and Obstetrical Research , 8 (1), 21–27. Web.

Tappen, R. M. (2016). 8-11. In Advanced nursing research: From theory to practice (2nd ed.). essay, Jones & Bartlett Learning.

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Abortion Debate Shifts as Election Nears: ‘Now It’s About Pregnancy’

Two years after Roe was struck down, the conversation has focused on the complications that can come with pregnancy and fertility, helping to drive more support for abortion rights.

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A crowd of people holding signs that support abortion rights in front of the Supreme Court building.

By Kate Zernike

In the decades that Roe v. Wade was the law of the land, abortion rights groups tried to shore up support for it by declaring “Abortion Is Health Care.”

Only now, two years after the Supreme Court eliminated the constitutional right to abortion, and just six months before the presidential election, has the slogan taken on the force of reality.

The public conversation about abortion has grown into one about the complexities of pregnancy and reproduction, as the consequences of bans have played out in the news. The question is no longer just whether you can get an abortion, but also, Can you get one if pregnancy complications put you in septic shock? Can you find an obstetrician when so many are leaving states with bans? If you miscarry, will the hospital send you home to bleed? Can you and your partner do in vitro fertilization?

That shift helps explain why a record percentage of Americans are now declaring themselves single-issue voters on abortion rights — especially among Black voters, Democrats, women and those ages 18 to 29 . Republican women are increasingly saying their party’s opposition to abortion is too extreme, and Democrats are running on the issue after years of running away from it.

“When the Dobbs case came down, I told my friends — somewhat but not entirely in jest — that America was about to be exposed to a lengthy seminar on obstetrics,” said Elaine Kamarck, a fellow at the Brookings Institution, referring to the Supreme Court decision that overturned Roe v. Wade.

Abortion opponents say that stories about women facing medical complications are overblown and that women who truly need abortions for medical reasons have been able to get them under exceptions to the bans.

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Healthtalk Australia

Experiences of pregnancy

When talking about their experiences of pregnancy, most people described it as life-changing, and discussed both its physical and emotional aspects. Some women enjoyed being pregnant and said they ‘didn’t have any problems’. Others found the experience of pregnancy more challenging, whether for physical or emotional reasons or a combination of both. Some men also talked about their emotional experiences during their partner’s pregnancy.

Common changes women talked about were altering their diets, looking and feeling different, craving certain foods, and experiencing fatigue and nausea. Some were surprised about how exhausted they felt. Many women experienced physical pain or discomfort during pregnancy, including sciatica, restless legs syndrome, deep vein thrombosis, headaches, fluid retention, heightened sensitivity to smell and heat, and tender larger breasts. When pregnant with twins, women felt that their changes and discomforts doubled. A few women loved the physical experience of being pregnant and embraced their new shape. Others felt ‘uncomfortable’ and described being unprepared for the physical dimensions of pregnancy.

> Click here to view the transcript

I went to the physio but they couldn’t push it in, they just said, “It’s the position that the baby’s in, there’s nothing you can do about it and try not to move,” [laughs].

Often women struggled to accept they were experiencing a ‘normal’ pregnancy because they felt so bad physically. Several women with more than one child said their second or later pregnancies were harder, particularly due to having to care for other children. Coping with nausea was more difficult when women had older children, experienced a lack of support, or when they had demanding or inflexible jobs. Some partners helped by providing practical support, including Ajay, a migrant father of one, who learned to cook when his wife was unwell during early pregnancy.

I found it immensely difficult on the train of a morning going into town. My GP gave me this recommendation to carry a plastic bag in my handbag so I that I always had something to throw up into if I needed to. It just places this pressure on you that I had never felt before, and I remember feeling like I didn’t want to be pregnant anymore. If this is what being pregnant is like I don’t want it, you can have it back. And my mum said to me, “You know, it’s only six more weeks and then you should feel better”, and the thought of six more weeks felt like a lifetime. The thought of just getting through the day felt like a lifetime.

So it was very draining, just very difficult – and again it placed a strain on the relationship with my husband because on the weekends he’d say, “Do you want to go out, do you want to go to a café, would you like to do this, would you like to do that?” and I said, “I don’t want to do anything, I just want to be at home with a bucket in my tracksuit pants [laughs] doing nothing”, because I just felt rotten. And you inevitably compare yourself to other people and the very early pre-birthing classes that I went to, they were talking about the importance of healthy eating and exercise and other pregnant ladies would say, “I go swimming four times a week”, and “I’m walking and I’m doing this”, and I thought, ‘I’m lucky if I can make to the letterbox and back’.

The physical and emotional aspects of pregnancy were intertwined for many women. Chelsea, a mother of one, described wondering if her nausea was caused by her anxiety or if it was the other way around. Others experienced a sense of disconnection between being pregnant and their day-to-day lives. Loretta described having difficulty focusing in formal work meetings while feeling her baby’s hiccoughs inside her: ‘That’s something I will never forget, just thinking – these two worlds are not matching in any way and I don’t know how they’re ever going to’. A few women mentioned social expectations to be happy, positive and ‘glowing’ during pregnancy.

And I can see that it’s a sacrifice. I’ve got a newfound respect for pregnant women and I will from now on question when they tell you how happy they are whether that is true because that’s the perception I gained before falling pregnant that pregnancy is lovely and exciting and sure, on many levels it is but the physical changes that happen to you and the daily aches you have.

And how sleep gets disturbed to the point that for me going to bed is actually the least pleasant part of the day because I feel breathless and I feel dizzy and I don’t feel comfortable and I can’t sleep.

I feel like nobody told me that, as if they either kept it to themselves, surely I’m not the only one going through these symptoms.

And I feel like the pregnancy affects my productivity. I’m always very goal-oriented person so to come home and not having energy to do what I would have normally done. Or not being able to walk somewhere as fast as I would have liked or as far.

Women talked about how the novelty of the experience of a first pregnancy distracted them from thinking about parenthood. Zara explained how she felt during her first pregnancy: ‘I think the whole time the focus was on the practical matters and I didn’t really give a lot of thought at all to the emotional consequences or realities of what it would mean to become a mother’. As a result, many women described being unprepared for life with a new baby – yet said they were not sure anyone could have prepared them.

A sense of vulnerability and responsibility for their unborn child was described by some women, while others remembered marvelling at having a baby growing inside them. Pregnancy brought emotional ambivalence for women such as Susanne who had always wanted to become a mother, but found pregnancy challenging and felt ‘miserable’.

I felt good for like a week. I’m like, ‘I can totally do this pregnant thing,’ and I just had this feeling, I just had this ridiculous idea that I’d be a bump and I’d be rosy and glowing and I could still walk and I could wear those tops to show off the belly.

I put on 10 kilos within about 30 seconds of being pregnant. I now know that it’s because I developed a form of arthritis which messes with your metabolism, whatever. So I had ongoing health issues throughout the whole thing, but I had no idea. So I couldn’t do any exercise, I could hardly walk, I could definitely not run, and I was emotionally… I’ve really bad psoriasis and the type of arthritis that I get is psoriatic arthritis. So it’s connected to psoriasis. I’d never had it before, never been diagnosed before, but looking back I’ve had it since I was a kid, it just wasn’t that serious. So the flare-ups went sort of undetected in an arthritis context.

The type of psoriasis and arthritis that I get is triggered by an immune system overloaded stress on your body which is exactly what pregnancy is [laughs]. So looking back that started pretty much straightaway, that achiness and, yeah, that beached whale thing.

So it was a really awful pregnancy and I felt really conflicted through the whole thing because this is all I wanted my whole life, and not only is this what I wanted my whole life but I left a heterosexual relationship and a heterosexual identity to be true to myself and I still am managing to have this amazing gift and living my dream and I am hating every single second of it.

A number of people related emotional distress during pregnancy to past experiences of depression and anxiety, or childhood experiences. When pregnant with her second child, Maree was worried about unconsciously repeating the favouritism she thought her parents had shown towards her younger sibling. Others experienced anxiety, stress, or antenatal depression related to the pregnancy itself (see talking points under the theme ‘Perinatal depression and anxiety’).

pregnant woman essay

From my previous experience as a mental health worker, I started to spot warning signs that I needed to have some kind of communication. Because I think that the first step in anything, when you think that there’s something going wrong with your head, because that’s the first thing people spot, the first thing to do is to actually talk to people about it. So we’ve had a very open communication with my partner, and we’ve been able to talk a lot about the way that I’ve been feeling. And I’ve also been quite lucky, that I have quite a tight-knit group of male friends who are actually the partners of – my partner has a mum’s group, so there’s probably six mums who hang out every week with the kids, and they’ve all grown up together.

And the dads have actually got a tight bond now. And without trying to scare the males into having sort of bonding and talking sessions, that’s what we’ve been doing, and it’s been really useful. Because it’s not just me who’s been going through this, there’s been a couple of other guys who are in a similar situation of just stress, panic, fear, all of those sorts of things, coming out into the open. I think it’s the fear of the unknown, and wondering whether you can actually cope with having another child. There’s always an assumption that a guy can cope with everything that’s thrown at him and there’s not so much availability for support networks.

And there’s an assumption that a guy can get through this without any help. And yeah, I don’t feel strong enough to be able to do that. I’ve broken down a number of times. And by that I mean lots of crying and thinking that I can’t do it and I don’t have enough mental strength to get through the situation. But being able to express that has been very, very useful. As I got closer to the time of the birth I was much more excited about the birth.

A number of people experienced significant life events, including losing jobs, relationship breakdowns, family violence, or moving interstate or overseas, including to escape war. These experiences significantly contributed to emotional distress in pregnancy. Melanie described how a difficult relationship with her mother became more complicated after finding out that her mother had lung cancer. Tolai migrated from Afghanistan to Australia during very late pregnancy.

pregnant woman essay

Parents described a range of complications during pregnancy involving the mother’s health, the baby’s health, or both. These included ectopic pregnancy, bleeding, placental problems, ‘incompetent cervix’, gestational diabetes, severe nausea (hyperemesis gravidum), ovarian cysts, high blood pressure and pre-eclampsia. Two people experienced problems with their babies, including supraventricular tachycardia (SVT) and gastroschisis.

The emotional impact of these experiences ranged from a sense of inconvenience through to significant distress. Erin described a range of complications including gestational diabetes in her fourth pregnancy and bleeding for over half of her sixth pregnancy due to a hematoma within her uterus.

So they could see that I had a sub-chorionic haematoma, which is like a blood sac next to the gestational sac. That was – it was bigger than the baby at that stage. And they said, “Prepare yourself for the worst, because the bleed could push the foetus out”. And there was nothing they could do really. It is what it is. So I was going on and I was just bleeding all the time and, you know, being pregnant and bleeding does your head. I know what it was like when I was bleeding when I had my fourth child. It was horrendous, you know. You just can’t relax. But, I mean, there was a break there. It wasn’t happening all the time, whereas this was constant bleeding and it was awful.

I couldn’t function. I just felt like I was walking on eggshells all the time. It was like, ‘Can you either just make up your mind, are you going to stay or are you going to go, but don’t have this constant’. Because going to the toilet was doing my head. It was a constant reminder that things were not normal. And there’d be days where all of a sudden it would just be a huge bleed, and I’d think, ‘Oh God, is this it’? You know, it was awful. So I could never relax. I was always just really tense, which is not a good thing to be when you’ve got five other kids to look after as well and life to continue.

Prenatal testing results that fostered fears about a baby’s health were stressful for people. Despite Chorionic Villus Sampling (CVS) revealing that Sarah M’s baby did not have Down Syndrome, she continued to have ‘morbid thoughts’ about her pregnancy. Loretta’s first child was diagnosed with a genetic condition while she was pregnant with her second, making her anxious about her unborn daughter. Rarer or more serious complications were experienced by some women, sometimes with a risk of stillbirth or a threat to their own health or fertility. These included extremely rare conditions such as placenta percreta. A few women were hospitalised for part of their pregnancies. Surgery for an ectopic pregnancy left Jane, who is now a mother of twins, unable to conceive, leading her and her partner to undergo IVF (which was successful).

So after that I had to heal and it was emotionally difficult, but it was just one more thing. We just kind of kept it aside – so that was pretty horrible. So we kept trying, once I’d recovered. It took a few months, because I was just so lacking in iron, and we started trying again and then just couldn’t, because I’d lost one fallopian tube. So, I really felt violated and brutalised and it was hard. But, you know, we really wanted to have children.

So my mother had said she would help us and she gave us some money so we would be able to afford to do IVF and we did three IUIs, which weren’t successful and even though my husband has this amazingly high, fantastic sperm count, it just didn’t work. So we had to try IVF and we only did two cycles and the first time we had two implanted and it didn’t work and at that point I thought we’ve got to give this all we could do. I’m always on the internet, so I’d known the statistics on how hard it was going to be at my age, because by then I was 41, 42, while we were doing this and anything over 35 can be very difficult. Over 40 you are incredibly lucky.

So I thought we’ve just got to go all out. We can’t keep affording to do this forever. So we found a woman, through a friend of mine, through word of mouth. Found this woman who was a Chinese herbalist and naturopath and I’d read that acupuncture is really good for IVF. So she had me on all these potions and things I had to drink, herbal remedies and, acupuncture quite a lot and – that cost us thousands too. But I think it really made the difference. So three months later, from the first IVF we went again.

Further Information:

Talking Points Experiences of pre-term birth, special care, stillbirth and death of a baby Experiences of conceiving, IVF, surrogacy and adoption Talking Points under the theme ‘Perinatal depression and anxiety’

Other resources

COPE: Expecting a baby

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Coercing pregnant women is contrary to Declaration of Independence's promises

The Declaration of Independence provided the theoretical foundation of our Constitution and thus the United States. The Declaration did not incorporate the United States, but rather is an aspirational document that proclaims the moral underpinnings of our legal and political institutions.

The Declaration pronounced that “We” (as proxy for the colonies) hold certain “truths” (the equality and rights of all men) as “self-evident.” The Declaration did not claim that the colonies evidenced these ideals. It did, however, imply that the colonies would be guided by these principles no matter the cost, including the risk of their lives and the political future of the colonies.

These principles were thus embedded in the life of the colonies (and future states). Since the signing of the Declaration “We” have been engaged in working toward implementing these aspirational principles into our legal and political institutions. This has not been a straightforward process, but we should be comforted in the fact that we are still moving in the direction that the “We” in the Declaration pointed us.

Contrary to the principles of the Declaration, and I might add the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, we seem to be backsliding, as we are enslave some citizens, even though this enslavement is not due punishment following the conviction of a crime. The group I reference here are pregnant citizens. These citizens are, by some states, coerced into continuing their pregnancies against their will , and in violation of one of their most basic rights, i.e., their right to make their own decisions in directing their future.

The Declaration is the very embodiment of this right. It declared that the colonies were by right free to decide their future, even at risk of death, for many of its citizens, and the colonies themselves.

It may be objected that there is justification for this coercion. It is often claimed that a fetus has a right to life, and this right outweighs the pregnant person’s liberty rights. Consider, however, two responses to this objection.

This assertion of a fetus’s rights is rarely defended, and surely cannot be taken at face value. It is certainly arguable that the right to life does not automatically outweigh any or all liberty rights; the Declaration itself exemplifies liberty as of equal or greater value than life itself.

Second, this right is certainly of greater value than the right of property ownership. A state seizing property by eminent domain is required to fairly compensate the owner after the proper legal proceedings. The pregnant person is given no due legal process prior to the state’s revocation of this important liberty right. Nor is she fairly compensated for the impact this loss has on: her religious convictions, physical well-being, ability to conceive, financial well-being, and mental well-being.

Without sound reasoning, due process, and fair compensation, this abrogation of their liberty can not be seen as anything but enslavement.

David H. Babcock is retired after 32 years of service to the state of Iowa at the Iowa State Penitentiary. Contact: [email protected].

This article originally appeared on Des Moines Register: Declaration of Independence promises hollow for today's pregnant women

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What is the federal law at the center of the Supreme Court’s latest abortion case?

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Abortion rights activists and Women’s March leaders protest as part of a national day of strike actions outside the Supreme Court, Monday, June 24, 2024, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Left to right; Dr. Sara Thompson, an OBGYN provider in ldaho, Jillaine St. Michel, a patient who had to travel out of state to access abortive services, U.S. Health Secretary Xavier Becerra, Lauren McLean, Mayor, City of Boise, Dr. Julie Lyons, LY- UHNZ, St Luke’s, Blaine County women’s health initiative and Family Physician and Dr. Loren Colson, Cofounder, Idaho Coalition for Safe Healthcare participate in a conversation with local patients and providers who have been impacted by Idaho’s abortion restrictions held at the Linen Building in Boise, Idaho, Wednesday, June 26, 2024. (AP Photo/Kyle Green)

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WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court appears ready to rule that hospitals in Idaho may provide medically necessary abortions to stabilize patients at least for now, despite the state’s strict abortion law, according to a copy of the opinion that was briefly posted on Wednesday to the court’s website and obtained by Bloomberg News .

The document suggests that a 6-3 ruling from the court will reinstate a lower court’s order to allow Idaho emergency rooms to provide abortions that save a woman’s health as the broader legal case plays out.

The Justice Department had sued Idaho over its abortion law, which allows a woman to get an abortion only when her life — not her health — is at risk. Idaho doctors say they were unable to provide the stabilizing treatment the federal law requires and that is typically standard of care, prompting them to airlift at least a half-dozen pregnant patients to other states since Idaho’s law took effect in January.

But attorneys for Idaho have said their state law allows for women in dire circumstances to get an abortion and is not in conflict with the federal law.

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The federal law, called the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act , or EMTALA, requires doctors to stabilize or treat any patient who shows up at an emergency room.

Here’s a look at the history of EMTALA, what rights it provides patients and how a Supreme Court ruling might change that.

What protections does EMTALA provide patients at an ER?

The law requires emergency rooms to offer a medical exam if you turn up at their facility. The law applies to nearly all emergency rooms — any that accept Medicare funding.

Those emergency rooms are required to stabilize patients if they do have a medical emergency before discharging or transferring them. And if the ER doesn’t have the resources or staff to properly treat that patient, staff members are required to arrange a medical transfer to another hospital, after they’ve confirmed the facility can accept the patient.

So, for example, if a pregnant woman shows up at an emergency room concerned that she is in labor but there is not an OB-GYN on staff who could deliver her baby, hospital staff cannot simply direct the woman to go elsewhere.

Why was this law created?

Look to Chicago in the early 1980s.

Doctors at the city’s public hospital were confronting a huge problem: Thousands of patients, many of them Black or Latino, were arriving in very bad condition — and they were sent there by private hospitals in the city that refused to treat them. Some were gunshot victims who hadn’t been stabilized. Most of them did not have health insurance.

Chicago wasn’t alone. Doctors working in public hospitals around the country reported similar issues. Media reports, including one of a pregnant woman who delivered a stillborn baby after being turned away by two hospitals because she didn’t have insurance, intensified public pressure on politicians to act.

Congress drafted legislation with Republican Sen. David Durenberger of Minnesota saying at the time , “Americans, rich or poor, deserve access to quality health care. This question of access should be the government’s responsibility at the federal, state, and local levels.”

Then-President Ronald Reagan, a Republican, signed the bill into law in 1986.

What happens if a hospital turns away a patient?

The hospital is investigated by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. If they find the hospital violated a patient’s right to care, they can lose their Medicare funding, a vital source of revenue needed for most hospitals to keep their doors open.

Usually, however, the federal government issues fines when a hospital violates EMTALA. They can add up to hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Why did the Supreme Court look at the law?

Since the Supreme Court overturned the constitutional right to an abortion, President Joe Biden, a Democrat, has repeatedly reminded hospitals that his administration considers an abortion part of the stabilizing care that EMTALA requires facilities to provide.

The Biden administration argues that Idaho’s law prevents ER doctors from offering an abortion if a woman needs one in a medical emergency.

But Idaho’s attorney general has pointed out that EMTALA also requires hospitals to consider the health of the “unborn child” in its treatment, too. Attorneys for Idaho have also said that there’s no conflict between the state and federal law since Idaho allows doctors to perform an abortion if the woman’s life is at stake.

What are the advocates saying?

Anti-abortion advocates argue that state laws banning abortion can coexist with the federal law that requires hospitals to stabilize pregnant patients in an emergency.

The prominent anti-abortion group Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America has called the lawsuit in Idaho a “PR stunt.”

“The EMTALA case is based on the false premise that pregnant women cannot receive emergency care under pro-life laws,” said Kelsey Pritchard, the group’s state public affairs director after the case was heard earlier this year. “It is a clear fact that pregnant women can receive miscarriage care, ectopic pregnancy care and treatment in a medical emergency in all 50 states.”

But many doctors say it’s not as clear cut as anti-abortion advocates claim.

In rare cases, a woman may risk sepsis, hemorrhaging or reproductive organ loss if a troubled pregnancy is not terminated. But Idaho’s state law forces a doctor to wait until the patient is close enough to death to end a pregnancy, doctors argue.

Doctors risk a minimum two-year imprisonment for providing an abortion if the woman’s life is not at risk.

“There’s nothing worse than feeling as a physician that you know what the patient needs and you can’t get it for them,” Dr. Jessica Kroll, the president of the Idaho American College of Emergency Physicians told reporters during a press conference early this month.

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Published: Friday 25th of January 2013

pregnant woman essay

15 Things You Should Never Say to a Pregnant Woman

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It’s well known that hormones and casual conversation often clash, especially if you’re about to say any of the following to a pregnant woman. You might think you’re giving a compliment, but you could unintentionally cause offense. Pregnant women are extra sensitive, and rightfully so—they’re carrying a new human life for nine months! Here are 15 things you should never say to a pregnant woman.

“Sleep might be different once the baby arrives.”

Woman Sleeping

Listen up, new moms-to-be: You WILL get sleep. It might not be as much as you’re used to, but you won’t suffer from a lack of it. Make time for sleep—sometimes chores can wait for a nap, and your baby might even enjoy sleeping! It’s totally okay to ask for help from family and friends. Let them take care of the baby or handle the chores while you get some much-needed rest.

“Enjoy this time before the baby comes!”

Woman Pregnant in Black and White Striped Shirt Standing Near Bare Tree

These downer comments aren’t only about sleep. Whenever a pregnant person is having fun, relaxing, or simply enjoying life, it seems someone wants to spoil their happiness. People often interrupt pregnant individuals in public just to predict how their future baby will take away that joy. The reality is that if you prioritize something in your life, you can and will find ways to continue enjoying it—even with kids around.

“You look very pregnant!”

Pregnant Woman Sitting on Bed and Reading Book

While you might think you’re just making small talk in the grocery store checkout line, these comments can be annoying or even harmful, depending on who you’re talking to. The many changes that come with pregnancy can be very tough, especially for those who have struggled with body image or an eating disorder. So telling a pregnant person they look “big,” whether directly or indirectly, is unwelcome.

“You look so petite!”

woman, pregnant, pregnancy

In our fat-phobic society, people often think they’re giving a compliment when they comment on how “small” a pregnant person looks. However, these comments can make moms-to-be anxious about their baby’s size and health. All they hear is, “Wow, is your baby okay?” They will start to worry and Googling for answers—which usually doesn’t end well.

“Do you think you might be having twins?”

Pregnant Woman Wearing White Skirt Holding Her Tummy

This comment gets thrown around way too often, and guess what? It’s very rude and hurtful. It’s especially tough for a mom who’s not carrying twins, struggling with her changing body or has gained a few extra pounds. Women hear this way more than they should, and each time, they have to awkwardly laugh it off. You need to get that these remarks are not okay.

“Did you plan for this?”

pregnant near door

It’s actually none of your business whether it was planned or not. When someone shares their news, they’re usually over the moon about it and just want you to join in their happiness. Asking that can be a bit nosy, you know? So let’s focus on celebrating with them and leave the planning details for them to share if they want to.

“Should you be eating or drinking that?”

pregnant, maternity, mother

You really don’t need to comment on a pregnant person’s body shape or size, and the same goes for what they eat and drink. Whether they’re sipping a caffeinated vanilla latte or munching on a salmon avocado roll—it’s not for us to judge. Some folks feel the urge to criticize what a pregnant person eats, maybe because they think it’s not healthy enough. But what someone chooses to eat is totally up to them, not you.

“You’ve got your hands full!”

Girl in Pink Sweater and Grey Jeans Kissing Tummy of Pregnant Woman in Blue Shirt and Blue Denim Jeans

Pregnant women often hear this when they’re out running errands with their other kids or juggling a lot. While people might mean well, it can make moms feel like they’re not handling everything smoothly. When you’re already feeling self-conscious or anxious—the last thing you need is someone pointing out how busy you are. Comments like ‘You sure have your hands full!’ can feel like adding insult to injury.

“Are you feeling excited?”

Pregnant Woman Holding Tummy

This is another comment that’s often meant to be supportive but can end up making things worse. Any remark that assumes a mom-to-be should feel a certain way about her pregnancy doesn’t recognize all the emotions she might actually be going through. Many pregnant people feel joy and happiness, but they can also feel discomfort, overwhelmed, or sadness—sometimes all at once. 

“Have you considered getting an epidural?”

Pregnant Woman

This is another topic that’s often part of birth stories but deserves its own spotlight. Choosing how to give birth is deeply personal for every soon-to-be parent. It’s about what she wants, and she deserves the freedom to make that choice without others’ opinions. Avoid questioning her decision or making her feel guilty for choosing her preferred route.

“My friend did yoga throughout her pregnancy and gained only 25 lbs.”

Silhouette of Man at Daytime

Pregnant women don’t want to hear about your tough birth stories, and they don’t want to hear about super moms who had it all easy—no weight gain, quick births, or minimal pain. Even if you know someone with an amazing experience, unless she asks for it, it’s best to keep those stories to yourself. Hearing them can cause anxiety and stress for a pregnant woman. 

“Have you thought about bringing a child into this world?”

Pregnant Woman

Could you be any more insensitive? If you have strong feelings about overpopulation, the environment, violence, or anything else, that’s totally okay, but maybe save those thoughts for another time. She’s already pregnant and has considered everything carefully. Now is not the time to share your concerns. Let’s support her without adding any guilt or doubt. 

“Are you planning to have more children?”

man kissing woman's forehead white holding ultrasound photo

Asking this can be rude because you may not know if the person has struggled with fertility issues before or if they can have another baby. Plus, it’s really not your business if they want more children. If you’re curious, a gentler way to ask could be, “Would you like more children?” It comes across as more considerate and less abrupt.

“Are you hoping for a boy or a girl?”

pregnant, woman, belly

While it’s natural to wonder what it would be like to have a son after having two girls, what a pregnant woman truly hopes for, above all, is a healthy baby. Asking about gender preferences can be very insensitive, especially to a mother who has experienced pregnancy loss and simply wants a healthy child more than anything else.

“Has the baby arrived yet?”

women's white dress

After week 38, consider taking a break from social media. There’s always that one aunt or relative who asks daily if the baby has arrived—and then comes the unsolicited advice on how to induce labor. Whether it’s spicy curry, long walks, crab walks, yoga, or raspberry leaf tea, babies come when they’re ready, not because of something you eat or do.

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    Teen Pregnancy: A Health Promotion and Sexual Education Plan. For example, condoms may be used to prevent STDs, and oral contraceptives may be taken in order to ensure birth control. Pregnancy is related to a significant number of procedures and complicated care. The Pregnancy-Induced Hypertension.

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    Pregnancy is a special time when a new life is being made. It's full of changes, care, and excitement as families prepare for a new baby. 500 Words Essay on Pregnancy What is Pregnancy? Pregnancy is the time when a baby grows inside a woman's womb or uterus. It starts when a sperm from a man joins with an egg from a woman.

  8. Factors influencing the quality of life of pregnant women: a systematic

    Pregnancy is a period of transition with important physical and emotional changes. Even in uncomplicated pregnancies, these changes can affect the quality of life (QOL) of pregnant women, affecting both maternal and infant health. The objectives of this study were to describe the quality of life during uncomplicated pregnancy and to assess its associated socio-demographic, physical and ...

  9. The Relationship of Depression, Anxiety, and Stress with Pregnancy

    The prevalence of depressive symptoms among pregnant women during their second and third trimesters in Northwest rural China was 16.14% that was nearly 4 percentage points higher than the average survey result of the pregnant women in developed countries and was higherthan the findings in Chinese urban areas. Expand

  10. Pregnancy during a pandemic: The stress of COVID-19 on pregnant women

    Pregnancy is stressful, to say the least, but COVID-19 brings new challenges to parents of newborns. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has identified pregnant women as a vulnerable ...

  11. Introduction To Pregnancy

    Introduction to Pregnancy. This document provides an overview of pregnancy; the reproductive process through which a new baby is conceived, incubated and ultimately born into the world. Many facets of pregnancy are covered starting with the preparation and planning stages, and moving through conception, fetal development, labor and delivery ...

  12. Care Plans for Healthy Pregnancy

    Pregnancy is a happy event for many women, yet it is also a difficult period during which patients experience various changes in their health. Thus, it is the role of a nurse to prepare the patients for pregnancy and childbirth and evaluate their wellbeing to prevent or eliminate any arising issues. In Case Study 1, a 25-year-old female ...

  13. Pregnant Women Essays: Examples, Topics, & Outlines

    Birth Defects in Pregnant Woman over 35. PAGES 3 WORDS 1241. High-Risk Pregnancies. Having a baby is a dream that many families have. Women in particular are associated with the idea and "dream" of having a child but men are pretty excited about it to when it comes, albeit also nervous.

  14. Nutrient Intake During Pregnancy

    What a woman eats when she is pregnant can have a profound and lasting effect on her health and the health of her child. The fetus evolves from a single-celled, fertilized egg to a neonate in only 9 months. Meanwhile, the mother must undergo her own sequence of dramatic physiologic changes. The effects of inadequate or excess intake of nutrients may be observed in the short and long terms, and ...

  15. 207 Pregnancy Research Topics & Essay Titles + Examples

    These essay examples and topics on Pregnancy were carefully selected by the StudyCorgi editorial team. They meet our highest standards in terms of grammar, punctuation, style, and fact accuracy. Please ensure you properly reference the materials if you're using them to write your assignment.

  16. Physical Exercise During Pregnancy

    Physical Exercise During Pregnancy Essay. This study results from an increased scientific interest in strategies that encourage physical exercise during the expectancy period. The goals of this qualitative approach are to investigate the perspectives and perspectives of obese and overweight pregnant women, as well as to inform programs that ...

  17. Abortion Rights Debate Shifts to Pregnancy and Fertility as Election

    Jackson Women's Health Organization, the case that overturned Roe, less than 15 percent of the public considered abortion personally relevant — women who could get pregnant and would choose an ...

  18. Experiences of pregnancy

    Parents described a range of complications during pregnancy involving the mother's health, the baby's health, or both. These included ectopic pregnancy, bleeding, placental problems, 'incompetent cervix', gestational diabetes, severe nausea (hyperemesis gravidum), ovarian cysts, high blood pressure and pre-eclampsia.

  19. Pregnant Woman Essay Examples

    On the one hand, Pregnant Woman essays we showcase here clearly demonstrate how a really exceptional academic piece of writing should be developed. On the other hand, upon your request and for a reasonable cost, a professional essay helper with the relevant academic experience can put together a top-notch paper example on Pregnant Woman from ...

  20. Essay on Prenatal Care

    Essay on Prenatal Care. Prenatal care is medical care for pregnant woman and is important for a healthy pregnancy. Its key components include regular checkups and prenatal testing, eating healthfully, exercising, and beginning as soon as one knows she is pregnant. During her pregnancy, a woman should see her doctor about once each month for the ...

  21. The Effects Of Pregnancy On A Woman 's Life Essay

    It steals away happy moments that they should both be enjoying. It prevents a mother from being functional. The sad part is that it prevents the mother from being a mother to her baby. Pregnancy is a gift and at the same time a life changing event. It is a wonderful yet risky and stressful event in a woman's life.

  22. Coercing pregnant women is contrary to Declaration of Independence's

    The pregnant person is given no due legal process prior to the state's revocation of this important liberty right. Nor is she fairly compensated for the impact this loss has on: her religious convictions, physical well-being, ability to conceive, financial well-being, and mental well-being.

  23. 30 Things You Should Never Say to a Pregnant Woman

    Pregnant women are always hungry, and they don't need your commentary ruining their meal. Impolitic Moms-to-be are flush with hormones so don't ask them questions about population growth, politics ...

  24. What is the federal law at the center of the Supreme Court's latest

    "The EMTALA case is based on the false premise that pregnant women cannot receive emergency care under pro-life laws," said Kelsey Pritchard, the group's state public affairs director after the case was heard earlier this year. "It is a clear fact that pregnant women can receive miscarriage care, ectopic pregnancy care and treatment in ...

  25. Essay on Obstetric Care for Pregnant Women

    Maternal and Child health is achieved through comprehensive obstetric interventions. While basic obstetric care is available for pregnant women, socio-cultural beliefs are effective as well to convince them not to access appropriate care during obstetric emergencies. Therefore, this essay explains why pregnant women are often unable to receive ...

  26. Baby: Pregnancy and Mother Essay

    Teen Pregnancy By Brianna Johnson Composition 1 with Mr. Hooker March 19, 2013 I. Introduction II. Causes of Teen Pregnancy A. Lack of a Proper Education 1. Reasons for Lack of Education a. Discomfort from parent or child b. Fear That It Will Encourage Sexual Activity c. Uncertainty about When to educate the child 2.

  27. pregnant women Essay Examples

    The Problem of Pregnant Women Discrimination in the United States (1646 words, 3 pages) Nowadays, 20th Centuries, many people would like to enhance or want to achieve the feminism in the society. However, it is hard to achieve it. It is because male and female are very different from their physical and mental thinking.

  28. 15 Things You Should Never Say to a Pregnant Woman

    You might think you're giving a compliment, but you could unintentionally cause offense. Pregnant women are extra sensitive, and rightfully so—they're carrying a new human life for nine months! Here are 15 things you should never say to a pregnant woman. "Sleep might be different once the baby arrives." Photo by Ivan Oboleninov on Pexels

  29. Maternal Mortality And Death Of A Pregnant Woman Essay

    Maternal mortality/death is defined as the death of a pregnant woman by causes related to the pregnancy or its management, or death of a post-partum mother within 42 days after pregnancy termination (Requejo, Bryce, Victora, & Deixel, 2013; Ronsmans, Graham, & group, 2006; Say et al., 2014). There are proposals to change this definition to make ...

  30. Global Issues: Gender Equality and Women's Empowerment

    A final area of focus in attaining gender equality is women's economic and political empowerment. Though women comprise more than 50% of the world's population, they only own 1% of the world's wealth. Throughout the world, women and girls perform long hours of unpaid domestic work.