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Pregnancy and Birth

Pregnancy, Physical And Psychological Changes Of Pregnancy, The Woman's Partner, Developmental Tasks Of Pregnancy

A woman's decision to begin a pregnancy carries with it the acceptance of the lifelong responsibility to be a parent. Ideally, effective parenting begins even before the moment of conception, when the woman confirms her desire to have a child and is physically and mentally prepared for the challenges of pregnancy, birth, and parenting.

Pregnancy and birth are not isolated from the woman's surroundings and circumstances. The woman's family, community, and culture typically influence her decisions and behaviors. Diverse beliefs, taboos, expected behaviors, and cultural rituals surrounding the childbearing experience are handed down from generation to generation. A common cultural expectation is that children will be conceived when a woman is in a committed sexual relationship. Pregnancy out of wedlock is sometimes frowned upon, and men and, especially, women can be ostracized for their sexual behavior. Regions of a single country also can have an influence. For example, pregnancy and birth in an urban region often involve the use of high technology and delivery in a large medical center hospital, whereas pregnancy and birth in a rural region may involve no technology and delivery at home.

Additional topics

Marriage and Family EncyclopediaPregnancy & Parenthood