In 1830 the German obstetrician Franz Karl Naegele formulated a rule: To calculate a woman’s due date, you add 280 days to the first day of her last period. This gives us the famous (though perhaps, misleading) Nine Months of Pregnancy. Those nine months are conveniently divided up into Three Trimesters (trimestris is the latin for a three-month period). But for many women, the experience of childbearing lasts much longer than that.
Ask any woman who has had trouble conceiving or difficulty carrying a pregnancy to term and she will tell you that she feels she has been pregnant for years. Listen to any woman who has had a difficult childbirth, a long recovery, a hard time breastfeeding or a struggle with post-partum depression and she will tell you that she feels she has been wrapped up in the process for ever!
I think we can identify at least Five Trimesters of Pregnancy. Each one has its joys and its woes. In the following posts, I will list some of the tasks childbearing women and their partners encounter in each trimester and some of the resources, locally and on-line, that can help them.