Journey to Parenthood: your guide through pregnancy, birth and beyond
You're going to have a baby! Or maybe you're just thinking about having one. If you are in the planning stages, our Planning Pregnancy section can help you. Regardless of your exact situation, you're probably feeling happy, confused, and even a little nervous. Be assured you are not alone. For centuries, birth has been one of the most natural and common events that women share, regardless of their nationality, culture, and spiritual and psychological beliefs. And most women find childbearing to be an exciting and empowering experience that can be applied to many other areas of their lives.
Armed with the best information, you have the ability to be active in decisions about how you
It's not possible to know ahead of time exactly what your pregnancy and labor will be like. Being as informed as possible in advance will help you to deal wisely with any decisions that you'll need to make along the way. It's important to learn about your options, get answers to your questions, and think about our values and preferences well before labor begins. Your health care provider is an important source of this information and should be available to answer your questions and discuss any concerns you may have.
While Journey to Parenthood should not replace regular prenatal care, childbirth education classes, or a support network of family and friends, it does provide valuable information about the many options and choices that lie ahead. It will help you and your partner make informed decisions about what's best for you and your family. Bon Voyage! You are embarking on one of life's most exciting journeys!
Inside Journey to Parenthood
Go to Start Here
Go to The First Trimester
Go to The Second Trimester
Go to The Third Trimester
Go to Labor and Birth Stages
Go to After Birth (Postpartum)
Go to Developmental Milestones
Go to Questions to Ask Regarding Pregnancy Professionals and Birth Settings
Go to Contact Information for Pregnancy Professionals and Birth Settings
Most recent page update: 9/9/2010
© 2013 Childbirth Connection. All rights reserved.
Childbirth Connection is a national not-for-profit organization founded in 1918 as Maternity Center Association. Our mission is to improve the quality and value of maternity care through consumer engagement and health system transformation. Childbirth Connection promotes safe, effective and satisfying evidence-based maternity care and is a voice for the needs and interests of childbearing families.
News and Features
Listening to MothersSM III is the third national survey exploring women’s experiences in pregnancy and childbirth. Commissioned by Childbirth Connection, conducted by Harris Interactive, and funded by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the survey polled 2,400 women who gave birth in U.S. hospitals from 2011 to 2012. Results show that medically intensive experiences are typical, and evidence-based practices are underutilized. Childbearing women need better support and knowledge to navigate their maternity care.
Access the full report and supplementary materials
New Report: Maternity Care and Liability
Go to report and supporting materials
New Report: The Cost of Having a Baby in the United States
Go to report and supporting materials
New Cesarean Resources:
Go to Best Evidence Report
Go to web pages and booklet for women
For 95 years, Childbirth Connection has been dedicated to improving the quality and value of maternity care for all women and their families. Learn more about our rich history through our interactive timeline and give $95 for 95 in honor of our 95th birthday.
Childbirth Connection works to ensure that all women and babies get the best possible maternity care. We have the collective vision and we know how to get there, but we can't do it alone. Join the transformation today.
The Transforming Maternity Care website focuses on maternity care system improvements designed to engage diverse stakeholders in quality improvement efforts. The site offers full access to the landmark reports 2020 Vision and Blueprint for Action, features a Blog, and other resources such as an Action Center, a database of quality improvement projects, an interactive data center, and many more tools for advocates and stakeholders.