Learning Outcomes For Study Session 10
When you have studied this session, you should be able to:
10.1 Define and use correctly all of the key words printed in bold.
10.2 Know how to measure fundal height using the finger method and a soft measuring tape.
10.3 Interpret fundal height measurements to assess normal fetal growth in relation to gestational age.
10.4 Identify possible causes of abnormal fundal height measurements and take the appropriate actions.
Normal Emotional Changes In Pregnancy
Aside from emotional ups and downs caused by rising hormone levels in the first three months, the feeling of growing a new life can be exciting and awe-inspiring . It is also common for women to feel anxious, vulnerable and overwhelmed by the big changes that pregnancy and a new baby will bring .
Even if you feel excited by your pregnancy, you will undoubtedly have some unsettling thoughts. Perhaps there will also be some difficult decisions to make. Most women have many questions that they ask of themselves. They might doubt their ability as a mother, how their relationship might change or how they will manage financially . Other normal worries include:
- Should I stop having sex while pregnant?
- What will the birth be like?
- Will my life go back to normal afterwards, for example can I return to work?
If you experienced problems with a pregnancy before, you might also worry about it happening again .
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What Are Some Of The Early Signs Of Pregnancy
Most women will have some symptoms of early pregnancy within a few weeks of becoming pregnant.
The most common symptom of early pregnancy is a missed period. This may be less obvious to women with irregular cycles or who are using a type of contraception that affect their periods. These women may not notice a missed period. Its also common to notice physical changes such as:
- morning sickness nausea and/or vomiting that may come and go throughout the day
- needing to pass urine more frequently
- an increase in breast size
Some women will experience many of these changes, while others wont feel very different to usual. If you are having severe symptoms, ask your doctor about things you can do to help you feel better.
The hormonal changes in early pregnancy can also cause changes to your mood. You may feel more emotional and cry more easily. These feelings are very common in early pregnancy, but if they become severe and start to affect your daily life, its a good idea to discuss them with your doctor or pregnancy care provider.
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What Happens During Week 3
The fertilized egg moves down your fallopian tube and divides into more and more cells. It reaches your uterus about 34 days after fertilization. The dividing cells then form a ball that floats around in the uterus for about 23 days.
Pregnancy begins when the ball of cells attaches to the lining of your uterus. This is called implantation. It usually starts about 6 days after fertilization and takes about 34 days to be complete.
Pregnancy doesnt always happen, even if an egg is fertilized by a sperm. Up to half of all fertilized eggs pass out of your body when you get your period, before implantation is complete.
Are Itchy Boobs Or Nipples A Sign Of Pregnancy
The short answer is no. By themselves, itchiness on the breasts is not a documented sign of pregnancy.
That said, some women report breast itchiness in addition to other symptoms.
There are many changes that happen in the breasts during pregnancy, and some of them happen quite quickly after conception. This includes the enlargement of the breasts, which may lead to the sensation of itchiness in some cases.
What are the early signs and symptoms of pregnancy?
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What Are Common Symptoms Of Pregnancy
Everyone experiences different symptoms of pregnancy and at different times. Its important not to compare your pregnancy to someone elses because pregnancy symptoms can vary so dramatically.
There are several signs of early pregnancy that you may or may not have. The most common symptoms include:
Is Lower Abdominal Pain A Sign Of Pregnancy
If you notice a twinge of pain or pain that feels somewhat like the onset of menstruation, theres a chance this might be caused by the implantation of the embryo. If you stomach feels hard or swollen, this is unlikely a sign of early pregnancy, since its too early. Your abdomen isnt likely to look or feel any different until later.
But wait! This symptom could also be caused by: PMS or stomach issues.
Acne is a common early symptom of pregnancy, but its also a common with PMS.
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Pregnancy Nausea Or Vomiting
Its very common and normal to have an upset stomach when youre pregnant.
Chalk it up to pregnancys hormonal changes. It usually happens early in pregnancy, while your body is adjusting to the higher hormone levels.
Good news: Nausea usually disappears by the fourth month of pregnancy . It can happen at any time of the day but may be worse in the morning, when your stomach is empty or if you arent eating enough.
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Normal Pregnancy Symptoms: Heres What To Expect
Pregnancy is an exciting time in a womans life, but it can also be overwhelming as your body changes in new ways. As your first trimester gets underway, you might start wondering: Am I supposed to feel this way, or is something wrong?
Many pregnancy symptoms arent enjoyable, but I want to reassure you they are completely normal. Most women tend to start experiencing symptoms about 3-4 weeks after conception at a gestational age of 5-6 weeks.
To help you know what to expect, Ive compiled this list of symptoms that typically accompany pregnancy.
Highlights At 1 2 And 3 Weeks Pregnant
Before we get into all the details, here are a few highlights to look forward to during these early weeks of your pregnancy:
Watching for symptoms in weeks 1, 2, and 3 of pregnancy. Are you wondering if it’s possible to feel pregnant after two days, or during weeks 1 and 2 of pregnancy? You might notice symptoms like light bleeding, spotting, cramps, or bloating around week 3 when the egg implants into your uterus.
Calculating your due date. Most healthcare providers track pregnancy along 40 weeks, starting with the last day of your previous period. That means you arenât actually pregnant until fertilization occurs and your baby is conceived, between week 2 and 3 of your pregnancy.
Making healthy choices early on. As early as possible in your pregnancy, youâll want to adopt a healthy lifestyle that supports the development of your baby. Though your healthcare provider may offer specific advice, you’ll likely want to incorporate certain vitamins, foods, and exercise into your daily life.
Food Aversions And Sensitivity To Smell
Sensitivity to certain smells is a common symptom for pregnant women. You may also find that your tastes have changed for certain types of food.
Any of the above signs can mean youre pregnant, but there are women who conceive and experience none of them. Likewise, you can experience all ten and not be pregnant. The best way to confirm pregnancy is to schedule an appointment with a provider, preferably your gynecologist.
If you notice a few of the early pregnancy symptoms above and think you may be pregnant, wait one or two days after your missed period and take a pregnancy test. If the test is negative, wait a few more days and take another, just in case the first was a false negative. If the test is positive, schedule an appointment with your OB/GYN.
At Baptist Health, were committed to helping women through every stage of their health journeys. If youre trying to conceive or thinking about getting pregnant, read through our preconception to-do list, or if you have an upcoming OB/GYN appointment, learn how you can get the most out of your visit.
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Should You Be Concerned
When youre pregnant, there are so many things that are happening its hard to tell when you should be concerned. If you feel bubbles in your stomach, its more than likely nothing to worry about.
However, if they are bothering you or youre wondering whether it could be something other than fetal movement, theres nothing wrong with finding out.
Changes In The Stomach Are Driven By A Few Factors And To Each It Is A New Process
Pregnancy to each individual comes in a different way and thus, the changes are also different. One may see early signs quickly while the other may show signs slowly. It depends on person to person:
- For new mothers, signs of pregnancy on stomach might show much later than the ones who already have delivered a baby.
- The body type of mothers also play a key role in depicting bodily changes
- Health and habits of the mother also have a sufficient contribution to the cycle
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Weeks 25 To : Prepping For Labour
Youâre edging closer to the third trimester, the final stretch of your pregnancy! If you donât think you have much of a pregnancy belly yet, that may change quickly. Your baby is developing rapidly at this pointâmost baby development occurs in the final trimesterâwhich can cause some body changes for you, too. You may feel more kicking and even experience Braxton Hicks contractions, which are often referred to as practice contractions or âfalse labour.â This is a good sign that your body is preparing for labour!
By the end of 28 weeks of pregnancy, your baby bump may measure around 28 centimetres, according to fundal height estimates.
Even early in your third trimester, you might start to feel Braxton Hicks contractions. These are one way your body practices for labour, working your muscles to build strength.
Your uterus will expand to the midpoint between your belly button and breasts. Although it may seem as if thereâs no more room to grow, part of the beauty of pregnancy is watching your body do amazing things!
Your baby might start to stretch and wiggle around a bit more, so you may feel some movement.
No need to worry if youâre gaining weight. Not only is it normal, but itâs also important! Weight gain at this point is mostly from your developing baby, growing placenta, and increased fluids in your body.
Varicose Veins And Leg Oedema
Varicose veins of the legs are very common in pregnancy due to a combination of factors, including increased volume of circulating blood during pregnancy, and pressure of the pregnant uterus on the larger veins. This increased pressure on the veins can also result in swelling of the legs that can cause pain, feelings of heaviness, cramps and other unusual sensations.
If you have varicose veins, it is recommended that you:
- Wear support stockings.
- Avoid standing for long periods.
- Exercise gently and regularly .
- Lie down to rest with feet elevated, when you can.
- Try massaging your legs.
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Early Changes To Breasts: Tingling Aching Growing
Breast changes can occur between weeks 4 and 6. Youre likely to develop tender and swollen breasts due to hormone changes. This will likely go away after a few weeks when your body has adjusted to the hormones.
Nipple and breast changes can also occur around week 11. Hormones continue to cause your breasts to grow. The areola the area around the nipple may change to a darker color and grow larger.
If youve had bouts with acne before your pregnancy, you may experience breakouts again.
When Should You Take A Pregnancy Test
Its usually recommended that you take a pregnancy test after youve missed your period. This is because pregnancy tests measure the level of human chorionic gonadotrophin in your body, which is a hormone that starts to build up when you conceive. It can take around three to four weeks from the first day of your last period for there to be enough hCG in your body to show up on a test.
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More About Morning Sickness
The first thing to know about morning sickness is that it can hit you at any time of day.Probably a result of your changing hormones, it usually starts about week six and settles by week 14. The good news is that you may feel better if you:
- drink small amounts of fluid, often. Try flat lemonade, sports drinks, diluted fruit juice, weak tea, clear soup or a hot drink make of stock
- suck on ice or ice-blocks
- try ginger tablets, dry ginger ale or ginger tea
- eat small amounts of food more often, so you dont have an empty stomach
- eat a dry biscuit when you wake up in the morning, to avoid feeling sick when you get out of bed
- try salty foods such as potato crisps or salty biscuits
- suck on barley sugar or boiled lollies
- avoid fatty, rich or spicy foods
- avoid the smell of hot food
- avoid cooking dishes with strong smells
- rest as much as you can.
A small percentage of women have prolonged and excessive vomiting , which can lead to dehydration if it is not treated. See your doctor if you have severe morning sickness.
In some extreme cases, women need to be rehydrated in hospital, using intravenous fluids.
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It Probably Wont Be Noticeable In The Beginning
Sure, youll likely feel a whole lot different inside once you find out youre pregnant. But aside from that big smile on your face, you might not look different on the outside.
During those early weeks of pregnancy, your baby is still teeny-tiny. Even at 4 weeks, shes only the size of a poppy seed! So chances are, your bump wont start to show until you hit the 3-month mark when your baby is about the size of a lime.
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When Do Early Pregnancy Symptoms Start
Regardless of your feelings about a possible pregnancy, it can be easy to ascribe any sensations you’re having to potential pregnancy symptoms. However, keep in mind that premenstrual syndrome symptoms and those of early pregnancy can be very similarand pregnancy symptoms most often don’t occur until after you’ve missed a period not before.
Third Trimester Pregnancy Symptoms
The physical symptoms got worse during my third trimester. My legs hurt every second of the day. I couldnt walk up the stairs without getting winded and my thighs burning. I had to change up my commute so I could have access to escalators and elevators. This is a common complaint Ive heard from other mothers and pregnant women.
My body felt more discomfort and more cramps with each inch that my belly grew. If I walked for an extended period of time, I would feel the pain in my legs for days.
Those were just part of the physical changes.
Emotionally, pregnancy threw me into a whirlwind. I cried much more than I normally would. I became increasingly anxious. I worried about:
- being a bad mother
- not being able to provide enough security and love
- working and going to school during those nine months
I became more cautious about what I did and what I said, of the places I would go, and how long I would stay there.
On the flipside, I felt more magical. With each passing day, I became more eager to meet my son. I kept my hands on my belly, always protecting him. I would put my hands on my belly for weeks after giving birth.
There was pep in my slow, lumbering step. And I had a glow, according to my family. I was a bit of a contradiction: As overwhelmed as I felt, I was also happy.
Maybe it was because the journey was ending and I would soon get my body back, as they say.
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Why You Might Feel Pregnant
It can be fairly common to experience some physical symptoms as you enter into what many people call the two-week wait, the period of time between when you ovulate and when you expect your period. These symptoms can include:
- Breast soreness
- Nausea and/or changes in appetite
While all of the symptoms could be pregnancy symptoms, they can also be explained by either fluctuation in your hormones due to your menstrual cycle, or by other events in your life. These events can include illness, stress, or even something as simple as not enough sleep or too much exercise.
Some people experience premenstrual syndrome symptoms as pregnancy symptoms, whereas others do not typically have these symptoms every cycle.
When you experience a symptom that is not common to your cycle, it may be easily confused with a potential pregnancy.
To help relieve focusing on these symptoms, you can take positive steps for your physical and emotional health. Eating nutritious foods, quitting smoking, and limiting alcohol will promote your health and wellness whether or not it turns out you are pregnant.