What Should I Expect During Pregnancy

What Are Some Of The Signs And Symptoms That I Should Call Immediately For

What should I expect in each trimester?

The following signs and symptoms may indicate a serious problem and you should call us immediately!

  • Severe headaches and visual changes
  • Rapid weight gain and swelling of hands, ankles, feet and face
  • If less than 34 weeks, uterine contractions ten minutes apart for an hour or six or more in an hour
  • If between 34 and 37 weeks, uterine contractions five minutes apart for an hour.
  • Menstrual like cramps in the lower abdomen that are continuous in nature and may be accompanied by bleeding or spotting
  • Any leaking of fluid from the vagina, especially if large in amount or if bloody or greenish or brown tinged
  • A decrease in fetal movement
  • Any vaginal bleeding

How Should I Prepare For My First Pregnancy Appointment

Once the date is on your calendar, do a little prep work to make the most of your visit. These tips are a great place to start:

Make a list of key health facts. Your practitioner will want to discuss all the details of your medical history, so check your records at home or call your primary care doctor for a refresh. Come prepared with at least some basics about:

  • Your personal medical history: immunizations you’ve had, previous major illnesses or surgeries, known allergies including drug allergies
  • Your mental health history: any history of depression, anxiety disorder or other mental health disorders
  • Your gynecological history: age of your first period, details about your cycle, whether you have problems with PMS or PMDD, prior gynecological surgeries, history of abnormal Pap smears or STDs
  • Your obstetrical history: previous pregnancies, including pregnancy complications or losses and details about previous deliveries
  • Potential disease exposure: Any contagious diseases you may have been exposed to

Take stock of your medicine cabinet. Your OB/GYN or midwife will also want to know the names and possibly the dosages of any medications and supplements you take .

Find out about health conditions that run in your and your partners families. Learn what illnesses your family has a history of, so you can clue in your practitioner from the get-go.

What To Expect During Your 20

Sometime around your 20-week appointment, your doctor will schedule an ultrasound to determine the gender of your baby! During this sonogram, your sonographer will take a look at:

  • Babys size and all their major organs
  • Amniotic fluid
  • Location of placenta

Your sonographer passes this information to your doctor to give them a clear picture of the overall health of your baby and your pregnancy.

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The First Trimester: Changes To Your Body

During pregnancy, many changes will happen to your body to help nourish and protect your baby. Women experience these changes differently. Some symptoms of pregnancy continue for several weeks or months. Others are only experienced for a short time. Some women experience many symptoms, and other women experience only a few or none at all. The following is a list of changes and symptoms that may happen during the first trimester:

The First Trimester: What To Expect

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A healthy first trimester is crucial to the normal development of the fetus. You may not be showing much on the outside yet, but on the inside, all of the major body organs and systems of the fetus are forming.

As the embryo implants itself into the uterine wall, several developments take place, including the formation of the:

  • Amniotic sac. A sac filled with amniotic fluid, called the amniotic sac, surrounds the fetus throughout the pregnancy. The amniotic fluid is liquid made by the fetus and the amnion that protects the fetus from injury. It also helps to regulate the temperature of the fetus.

  • Placenta. The placenta is an organ shaped like a flat cake that only grows during pregnancy. It attaches to the uterine wall with tiny projections called villi. Fetal blood vessels grow from the umbilical cord into these villi, exchanging nourishment and waste products with your blood. The fetal blood vessels are separated from your blood supply by a thin membrane.

  • Umbilical cord. The umbilical cord is a ropelike cord connecting the fetus to the placenta. The umbilical cord contains two arteries and a vein, which carry oxygen and nutrients to the fetus and waste products away from the fetus.

It is during this first trimester that the fetus is most susceptible to damage from substances, like alcohol, drugs and certain medicines, and illnesses, like rubella .

During the first trimester, your body and your babyâs body are changing rapidly.

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How To Stay Healthy

Staying healthy is doubly important during pregnancy. If you are a smoker, this is a great time to quit speak with your doctor or pharmacist for support.

It is safest not to drink any alcohol while you are pregnant, since even low-level drinking, particularly in the first trimester of pregnancy, can have long-term negative effects on your baby.

Try to eat a variety of nutritious foods during pregnancy since this will help meet your babys nutritional requirements, as well as your own. While the amount of food you need to eat during your first trimester wont increase by much, you will need more of some nutrients. Most women will also need folic acid and iodine supplements because it’s difficult to get enough of these from food alone.

Its important to keep up regular physical activity during your pregnancy because of the many benefits both for you and your baby. If you experience any discomfort or complications, speak to your doctor or midwife.

What Causes Rib Pain During Pregnancy

Rib pain tends to crop up in the second and third trimesters, especially near the end of your pregnancy, as your belly and everything else stretches to accommodate your growing baby.

There are a few possible causes of rib pain during pregnancy, including:

  • Hormones. The same pregnancy hormones that are responsible for loosening your joints especially that aptly named hormone, relaxin can sometimes cause the ribs to expand. This is welcome news to your lungs and uterus , but not to your achy ribs and side.
  • Inflammation. The cartilage attached to your ribs can loosen and expand during pregnancy, causing inflammation in the area.
  • Increased pressure from the uterus. As your uterus continues to expand and your breasts keep getting bigger your rib cage may be, quite literally, under some pressure.
  • Babys kicks. Your little contortionist may have sunk a foot into your ribs, and she packs a powerful punch.

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Mood Swings During Pregnancy

The hormones changing in your body mean you will probably have heightened emotions, both positive and negative. And you will probably swing between these emotions.

While you may be overjoyed about having a baby, you may also be stressed and overwhelmed. You may feel worried about whether:

  • your baby will affect your relationship with your partner
  • you will cope financially
  • you will be able to juggle work and parenting
  • you will be a good mother
  • the baby will be healthy
  • your other children will accept and love the new baby.

You may also feel unimpressed with your changing body. You may be worried about putting on too much weight, or not enough. Or not being able to do the physical activity that you usually do. Or not looking attractive to your partner.

Add the hormone-induced fatigue, forgetfulness and moodiness, and you may feel completely out of control. This is all common.

First Trimester Changes In Your Body

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Pregnancy is different for every woman. Some women glow with good health during those first 3 months others feel absolutely miserable. Here are some of the changes you might notice, what they mean, and which signs warrant a call to your doctor.

Bleeding. About 25% of pregnant women have slight bleeding during their first trimester. Early in the pregnancy, light spotting may be a sign that the fertilized embryo has implanted in your uterus. But if you have severe bleeding, cramping, or sharp pain in your belly, call the doctor. These could be signs of a miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy .

Breast tenderness.Sore breasts are one of the earliest signs of pregnancy. They’re triggered by hormonal changes, which are getting your milk ducts ready to feed your baby. Your breasts will probably be sore throughout the first trimester. Going up a bra size and wearing a support bra can make you feel more comfortable. You probably wont go back to your regular bra size until after your baby is finished nursing.

Constipation. During pregnancy, high levels of the hormone progesterone slow down the muscle contractions that normally move food through your system. Add to that the extra iron you’re getting from your prenatal vitamin, and the result is uncomfortable constipation and gas that can keep you feeling bloated throughout your pregnancy. Eat more fiber and drink extra fluids to keep things moving more smoothly. Physical activity can also help.


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What To Expect During The First Trimester Of Pregnancy

Congratulations on your pregnancy and welcome to one of the most exciting experiences of your life!

While this is a happy, joyous time, it also can feel a little scary, especially for those who are pregnant for the first time. There are so many new things to learn!

Your body is about to undergo changes to accommodate a brand new life, and it may be helpful to understand some of those changes as you head into your first trimester of pregnancy so you know what to expect.

What Nutritional Considerations Will I Have While Pregnant

Weight gain and Nutrition

For women whose weight is average prior to pregnancy, a gain of 25 to 35 pounds appears to be associated with the most favorable outcome. Generally, this can be accomplished by an increase of 300 calories a day. In most women, increasing 300 calories a day can be attained by eating according to your appetite. Meals adequate in milk, dairy products, fruits, vegetables, meats or other protein foods, breads, and cereals are best.

Eliminate raw fish and non-pasteurized soft cheeses .

According to the Food and Drug Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency , it is recommended you do not eat shark, swordfish, king mackeral or tilefish during pregnancy, and if nursing, due to the high levels of mercury they contain. You may eat up to 12 ounces a week of a variety of fish and shellfish that are lower in mercury. A few of the most commonly eaten fish, which are low in mercury are shrimp, canned light tuna, salmon and pollock. Another commonly eaten fish, albacore tuna contains more mercury than canned light tuna. It is recommended that you limit your intake of albacore tuna to no more than 6 ounces per week of your total 12 ounces.

Eliminate caffeine in your diet.

Avoid snacks such as candy, pastries, and those that are very salty.

Avoid Honey.

It is important to increase your intake of fluids, especially water.

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What Will I Talk About With My Practitioner At Prenatal Care Appointments

A good portion of doctor visits during pregnancy are about advice and support. During each prenatal appointment, your practitioner should:

  • Ask how you’re doing physically and emotionally
  • Answer all of your questions
  • Offer tips on caring for yourself and your baby-to-be
  • Give you a heads-up about changes to expect and red flags to look for before your next visit

As for your role in this relationship, you should strive to show up for every prenatal appointment armed with questions and details on any changes in your health. Faced with new information and tests at every visit, many moms-to-be forget what they wanted to ask or share so write down anything you want to tell your doctor or midwife.

My Pregnancy Physical Changes First Trimester

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During the first trimester, hormones are again to blame for many physical changes. Breasts may feel tender to the touch and grow larger than normal. Vaginal discharge may increase and appear white and milky. The uterus starts to adapt to the growing fetus, but weight gain is minimal so most women do not show during the first trimester.

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You Will Experience Mommy Brain

Have you had your first case of mommy brain yet? If youre feeling generally fuzzy-brained and having trouble remembering things that you once took for granted, youre not alone! Many moms-to-be experience difficulty focusing, concentrating, or remembering throughout their pregnancy and after the birth of the baby. What does this mean for you? Use the notes program on your smartphone or get used to writing things down.

The eighth month of pregnancy is often one of the most exciting. Youre getting close to the end, but youre not yet so close that youre counting down the days and wondering whether or not your baby will come on your due date. Many times friends and family will throw your baby shower close to the end of your eighth month so that youll have time to finish preparing for babys arrival. Enjoy this month of pregnancy as much as you can! Baby will be here before you know it.

Being a mom is not easy. Being a single mom is even more challenging. Having children means you are on the job 24/7. Even while you are sleeping, you are still ready to wake at the slightest peep because that is what moms do.

Moms, especially single moms, need more people cheering them on. Your love and care matter to your kids. You are their superhero. I think single moms are superheroes, too.

Here are 50 single mom quotes to encourage all the single moms out there.

  • Being raised by a single mother, I learned to appreciate and value independent women.Kenny Conley
  • The First Trimester: Fetal Development

    The most dramatic changes and development happen during the first trimester. During the first eight weeks, a fetus is called an embryo. The embryo develops rapidly and by the end of the first trimester, it becomes a fetus that is fully formed, weighing approximately 0.5 to 1 ounce and measuring, on average, 3 to 4 inches in length.

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    Prenatal Visit Schedule: Third Trimester

    During your third trimester, your prenatal visits will be every two weeks until the last month of your pregnancy, when youll have them every week. So that means your prenatal visit schedule will look like this:

    • 28 weeks
    • Any symptoms youve been having

    Glucose Screen Test

    This test is used to determine if you have gestational diabetes. Once you arrive at your doctors office, be prepared to have your blood drawn first.

    Next, youll drink a very sugary drink that tastes like flat orange soda. Some women enjoy the taste, while others feel a little queasy afterward!

    After you consume the entire drink, youll wait one hour before having your blood drawn again. If your blood work comes back with elevated numbers, your doctor will order the next level of tests, which is used to officially diagnose gestational diabetes.

    Should you need to take the second test , youll have to fast before the appointment. Just like with the initial round of tests, your doctor will draw your blood first and then have you consume the drink.

    The only difference is this time, your blood will be drawn every hour for three hours. Be prepared to stay in your doctors office for three to four hours.

    If the results from this test also come back elevated, your doctor will discuss management techniques for gestational diabetes.

    But dont let this information worry you. Most women who monitor their blood sugar levels and work closely with their doctor have perfectly normal pregnancies and healthy babies!

    What Can Be Expected From The Doctor And Midwife

    What To Expect during the 1st Trimester of Pregnancy (What happened to me!)

    Your antenatal health checks might be with your GP, a midwife or an obstetrician, depending on where you will give birth. During your first antenatal health check, you will probably have your pregnancy confirmed with a urine or blood test. These are more reliable than home pregnancy tests. First trimester antenatal health checks usually happen every 4 to 6 weeks, but this can vary, based on your health and how your baby develops.

    Many women are offered an ultrasound scan at around 12 weeks you might hear the babys heartbeat at this scan. This ultrasound will also show if you are having a multiple birth and can help estimate the babys size and due date, as well as check for some health conditions.

    Other health checks during the first trimester include:

    • urine tests to detect urinary infections, a common but manageable condition that if left untreated can trigger pre-term labour
    • blood tests to check your blood type , iron levels, blood sugars , rubella immunity, and other infections such as HIV, hepatitis B and syphilis
    • general maternal health and wellbeing checks, including a discussion of concerns you might have about your pregnancy or general health, and a medication review to check for safety during pregnancy

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    Other Serious Issues During Pregnancy

    Some pregnant women develop mental illnesses that are a significant risk to both them and their child. Other women may already have a mental illness that is more difficult to manage during pregnancy.

    In particular, specialist health care is needed for pregnant women with:

    • bipolar disorder , with manic highs and depression lows
    • schizophrenia
    • eating disorders, including anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa. The risks include a loss of nutrition for your baby, an increased risk of miscarriage, and anaemia.

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