What Are The Signs Of Pregnancy
For a lot of people, the first sign of pregnancy is a missed period. Most pregnancy tests will be positive by the time youve missed your period. Other early pregnancy symptoms include feeling tired, feeling bloated, peeing more than usual, mood swings, nausea, and tender or swollen breasts. Not everyone has all of these symptoms, but its common to have at least 1 of them.
How To Determine Your Due Date
When you find out youâre pregnant, youâre probably wondering when youâll meet your new baby! For an estimate, try our Due Date Calculator, where you can simply enter the first day of your last menstrual period or the date of conception.
Healthcare providers use the LMP method to determine your estimated due date. Due dates are typically calculated as 280 days starting from the first day of your last menstrual period. Remember, when generating a due date this way, you arenât technically pregnant during the first couple of weeks of pregnancy.And, again, this is why you probably wonât feel those highly anticipated very early signs of pregnancy in weeks 1, 2, or 3. But once you start to notice themâand take a pregnancy test or confirm youâre pregnant with your healthcare providerâyou can calculate your due date!
Pregnancy Hormones Kick In
Large quantities of hormones chemical signals that circulate in your body and work together to cause physical changes are being mass-produced this week.
Among them are estrogen, which keeps the levels of progesterone and hCG up where they need to be progesterone, which maintains the function of the placenta, keeps the smooth muscles of the uterus from contracting, and stimulates breast tissue growth and hCG, which support the corpus luteum until the placenta takes over at about 10 weeks and regulates the amount of progesterone necessary.
And don’t be surprised if you feel like these hormones are taking over your life sometimes!
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Weight Gain During Early Pregnancy
Weight gain becomes more common toward the end of your first trimester. You may find yourself gaining about 1 to 4 pounds in the first few months.
Calorie recommendations for early pregnancy wont change much from your usual diet, but they will increase as pregnancy progresses.
In the later stages, pregnancy weight often shows up in the:
Hormones can cause the valve between your stomach and esophagus to relax. This allows stomach acid to leak, causing heartburn.
Third Trimester Prenatal Care
You meet more frequently with your doctor during the third trimester – every two weeks until week 35, then weekly until delivery.
At every visit, your doctor collects a urine sample, takes your blood pressure, measures your fundal height, asks about fetal movement . Your doctor also conducts a vaginal exam to see if your cervix is dilated or effaced . For a successful vaginal birth, your cervix needs to be 10 cm and 100% effaced.
Be sure to talk to your doctor about how you are feeling and any symptoms youre having. Also, nows the time to make your birth plan and decide on what kind of pain relief you want during labor and delivery.
Around week 36, your doctor performs a Group B strep test, a bacterium harmful to a baby that has to be treated with antibiotics. Around this same time, your doctor feels your abdomen to see if baby has settled into a head-down position for birth. Most babies who are breech naturally turn head-down by 37 weeks.
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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.
Your Pregnancy Weight Gain
It may be hard to watch yourself gain weight during pregnancy, even when you know there’s a wonderful reason for it, but try to embrace your body’s new shape and think of every pound you put on as a sign of good health for you and your baby.
As long as you eat right during pregnancy, minimize junk and maximize nutrient-dense foods, and get regular exercise, you’ll be fine in the long run. Remember, every woman gains and loses weight during pregnancy at a different pace.
One way to show your changing shape some love this week and feel better about yourself in the process: Buy a garment or accessory that makes you feel pretty at your new size and don’t forget to buy underwear that fits!
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When Should You Call A Doctor Or Midwife During Pregnancy
If a woman suspects that she may be pregnant or if she has a positive home pregnancy test, she should make an appointment with a health-care professional, which could be a doctor, an obstetrician , a family physician, a midwife, or a nurse practitioner. Early prenatal care is essential to insure a favorable pregnancy outcome.
A woman who is pregnant should call her healthcare professional if any of the following conditions develop:
- Labor or rupture of membranes
- Serious abdominal or vaginal pain
- Severe leg or chest pain
Go to your nearest Emergency Department if you have any of these symptoms:
- Vaginal bleeding through more than one pad per hour
- Having severe pain in the abdomen or shoulder or severe dizziness
- Passing pink, gray, or white material from the vagina that does not look like a blood clot
- Having a bloody discharge or gush of fluid from the vagina during late pregnancy .
- Seizure activity but without a history of epilepsy .
- Having an injury, such as a fall, a blow to the stomach or pelvis, or a car accident
Lower abdominal pain during late in pregnancy may indicate the onset of labor. Labor pains occur secondary to uterine contractions. A patient may attempt consumption of clear liquids or lying on her left side for a short time to determine if the contractions will resolve spontaneously. If the pain persists, her health care provider should be notified.
Why Do I Feel So Tired
Feeling very tired is another common symptom of early pregnancy. Your body is working hard to adjust to all the new physical changes. This can cause extreme fatigue. You may need to sleep longer than usual at night. If possible, you can take short naps during the day. Your energy will most likely return in the second trimester of pregnancy.
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What Happens To Your Body
For some women, the first trimester is characterised by nausea . But remember that every pregnancy is different and while some women have food cravings, others experience food aversions, and some have no change in appetite at all.
Other changes in the first trimester include changes to your breasts as they become tender, larger and heavier, while your uterus will grow and put pressure on your bladder so that you need to urinate more often.
Missed Period During Early Pregnancy
Once implantation is complete, your body will begin making human chorionic gonadotropin . This hormone helps the body maintain the pregnancy. It also tells the ovaries to stop releasing mature eggs each month.
You will likely miss your next period 4 weeks after conception. If you typically have an irregular period, youll want to take a pregnancy test to confirm.
Most home tests can detect hCG as soon as 8 days after a missed period. A pregnancy test will be able to detect hCG levels in your urine and show if you are pregnant.
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Can I Still Have A Midwife
According to the College of Midwives of Ontario, midwives can provide care for individuals during normal pregnancy, where normal refers to low risk or uncomplicated. Some midwives will work with high-risk patients as a secondary care provider, but this typically happens only when high-risk classification comes later in the pregnancy.
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That was the case for Chelsea Luciani, a mom of two from Toronto who had been seeing a midwife up until her 20-week ultrasound, when she learned that her placenta was partially covering her cervix. At a 28-week follow-up, she was sent to the hospital and told she was dilated and her cervix was funnelling, a condition that can lead to preterm birth. She was put on bed rest and referred to an OB/GYN however, she was still able to keep her midwife for basic monitoring.
I chose to keep my midwife for appointments and only transfer to the OB if the baby decided to come before 38 weeks, says Luciani.
If your pregnancy is deemed high risk from the start, a doula can provide additional care. Megan Ewing, a mother of two in Toronto, was classified as high risk for both of her pregnancies because of her type 1 diabetes. I would have loved to work with a midwife but was not able to because of my diabetes, says Ewing. My doula provided excellent pre-birth, birth and postpartum care.
Changes To Your Breasts
You may have noticed your breasts changing after becoming pregnant. Your breasts will grow in preparation for breastfeeding.
Staying healthy during your pregnancy – HSE mychild.ie
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Babys Growth In The First Trimester
During the first 13 weeks, your baby changes from a fertilized egg into a fully-formed fetus. All the major organs and systems are taking shape. That means your baby could be harmed if you use street drugs, have an illness, or get exposed to radiation. Heres whats happening:
The fertilized egg becomes a cluster of rapidly dividing cells that implants in your uterus. The placenta, umbilical cord and amniotic sac all start to grow.
Your babys nervous system changes from an open neural tube to a brain and spinal cord. Nerves and muscles start working together. Your baby can move on its own, but its too soon for you to feel it.
The heart takes shape and begins to beat. You can hear it on ultrasound as early as week 6. It beats 120 to 160 times per minute. Red blood cells are forming.
Your baby develops a digestive system, including intestines and kidneys.
They have lungs and other major organs, but theyre not fully developed.
A soft skeleton is starting to grow.
Your baby starts to look like a baby, with arms, legs, fingers, and toes. Their face gets eyes, ears, a nose, and mouth. A tongue and tooth buds grow. Eyelids cover your babys eyes, and by the end of the trimester, they even have fingernails.
Genitals start to grow, but its too early to tell by ultrasound whether youre having a girl or a boy.
How Will Being High Risk Affect My Lifestyle
If youre deemed high risk, your healthcare provider might ask you to make some changes to your lifestyle. For example, women with hypertension, which is exacerbated by a stressful work environment, may need to stop working sooner and get additional support, says Kfouri. You may also need to alter your diet or workout routine.
While bed rest is typically not recommended in pregnancy, you may not be able to resume all of your normal activities. For Luciani, she wasnt allowed to stand for more than 10 minutes at a time, which made it hard to care for her three-year-old. Basic things like getting him in and out of the car seat or bath and cooking meals were a challenge, she says. Her husband ended up taking time away from work to help out.
Its a good idea to let your employer know your situation so that you can work out a plan or determine whether it may be necessary to take a leave of absence or short-term disability, if those are options for you.
Women with high-risk pregnancies may also need additional emotional support. Once my care shifted, I was referred to a reproductive life stages psychiatrist, who helped me to manage my fears and anxieties about my high-risk pregnancy and monitored me for signs of postpartum depression . Similarly, Ewings team for her second pregnancy set her up with a social worker to help work through some PPD she had experienced with her first pregnancy.
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Discuss Medications With Your Doctor
Let your pregnancy care professional know about any medications or supplements youre taking. Not all of them are safe to take during pregnancy because they can pass through the placenta.
However, you should never discontinue a medication before talking with your doctor either. Many medications, like antidepressants, can cause severe side effects if you stop them cold turkey.
A healthcare professional can help you make a plan for safely tapering any medications that arent recommended during pregnancy.
Some pain medications, such as ibuprofen are not safe to take during pregnancy. Your provider can also tell you which OTC medications you can take.
For example, if you have a headache or run a fever while youre pregnant, you can take acetaminophen . If you have allergies, you can take certain OTC medications, according to ACOG.
Your best bet, though, is asking your doctor what they recommend for your specific situation, so you can make sure its safe for both you and baby.
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When To Call Your Doctor
According to the Cleveland Clinic, here’s what’s worth calling your healthcare provider about in the first trimester :
- A fever above 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit
- Bleeding so heavy that youre soaking an entire pad within an hour for three hours or more
- Unusual and/or severe cramping or stomach pain
- Excessive vomiting and/or diarrhea
- Pain or burning while peeing or trouble peeing
- Unusual vaginal discharge
- Swollen hands, fingers, or face
- Blurred vision or eye spots
- Severe headaches
- Pain or cramping in the arms, legs, or chest
When Pregnancy Is Unintentional
If you had unprotected sex or a contraceptive failure and fear you could get pregnant, emergency contraception is an option. Commonly called the “morning-after pill,” medications are available over-the-counter that can prevent pregnancy if taken within five days of having unprotected sex.
The sooner you take these medications, the more effective they are in preventing an unintended pregnancy. These medications do not cause an abortion, but rather prevent a pregnancy from being established.
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Four Weeks Pregnant: What To Expect
ByElaine J. Hompublished 25 August 17
During the fourth week of your pregnancy , you may begin to have positive results on a home pregnancy test. For the sake of accuracy, it’s best to wait until the end of the first week after a missed period to take the test, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service’s Office on Women’s Health.
If the test comes back positive, congratulations! You should make an appointment to see your health care provider to confirm your pregnancy with a blood test and arrange a prenatal checkup. If the results are negative, take another test at five weeks because you may have taken the test too early for it to show a positive result.
Home pregnancy tests measure the amount of human chorionic gonadotropin in your urine, a hormone that is produced by the placenta when a woman is pregnant. The hormone begins to appear shortly after the embryo attaches to the lining of the uterus, and hCG levels increase rapidly in early pregnancy.
Most practitioners don’t see pregnant women until they are eight weeks along, so you may need to wait a few weeks before actually seeing your health care provider. However, if you have had a high-risk pregnancy or a history of problems in giving birth, you should see a health care provider sooner than that.
Could I Have The Symptoms Of Early Pregnancy And Not Be Pregnant
Many of the symptoms of early pregnancy overlap with other medical conditions, as well as your typical menstrual cycle. Premenstrual symptoms can be very similar to pregnancy symptoms. This can make it difficult to tell the difference. You can also miss a period without being pregnant. This can happen when you exercise in extreme amounts, lose or gain a lot of weight, or even are stressed. Breastfeeding can also cause your period to stop for a while.
The best way to know youre pregnant is to take a pregnancy test. If you have missed a period and think theres a chance you could be pregnant, consider taking a test.
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