When a woman falls pregnant for the first time little does she know that she is about the embark on the most life changing experience of her life.
With this first foray into Parenthood, you may want to examine your current lifestyle choices as you prepare for your newest family member.
At the early stage of your pregnancy you may be challenged in many ways; from mood swings, to nausea, to vomitting, to abdominal pain to physical exertion to changing feeding habits and so much more.
The reality is that during the 9 months of your pregnancy you would experience, several changes; emotional, physical and even mental.
Some of us are lucky to escape many common symptoms and signs of prenancy while others get the full dose and more.
Women have been known to handle pregnancies differnetly based on their specific circumstances, beliefs, will powers and other varying factors. So do not compare your self to anyone, handle your pregnancy in your own way and to the best of your ability.
Scientifically childbirth usually occurs approximatel 38 - 40 weeks after your last menstrual period. there are several exceptions to this rule which may coour due to varying reasons; premature births, multiples delivery, medical complications and extended pregnancies.
Pregnancy usually coccurs as a result of sexual relations/intercourse between a man and a woman; thereafter the female gamete merges with the male gamete [Spermatozoa] in a process called fertilzation or more commonly known as conception. The result is the formation of an egg.
More scientific methods like Artificial insemination and in Vitro fertilization could also bring about conception/pregnancy.
After conception you may experience varied symptoms/signs which are associated with the onset of pregancy.
Although not all of these signs are universally present, nor are all of them diagnostic by themselves, taken together they make a presumptive diagnosis of pregnancy.
These signs include but are not limited to:
- The presence of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) in the blood and urine
- Missed menstrual period
- Iimplantation bleeding that occurs at implantation of the embryo in the uterus during the third or fourth week after last menstrual period
- Increased basal body temperature sustained for over 2 weeks after ovulation
For more signs go to ....Early Signs of Pregnancy
Your pregancy if normal and uneventful may last between any where from 38-40 weeks.
Medically pregnancy is believed to have begun when the embryo is planted in the Uterus.
First Trimester [0-3 Months]:
The impalnted Embryo undergoes tremendous growth and changes during this period.
Your doctor would make sure you have enough Vitamin B/Folic Acid during this period [prevents serious birth defects].
Most miscarriages also occur during this period.
During this period most women may experience;
- Morning sickness
- Frequent hunger pangs
- Excess production of Saliva [for some it goes on through out the whole pregnancy]
- Frequent unrination.
- Abdominal pains/cramps
- Aversion to certain foods
- Cravings for certain foods.
- Darkened Nipples and Areolas
- Most women feel more energized during this period and also begin to gain weight as symptoms of morning sickness begins to fade away.
- During this period you may begin to feel the movement of the Feutus.
- The placenta is fully fucntional now and the Feutus also begins to produce insulin and urinate.
At twenty weeks you are due for an Anomaly scan - that basically confirms the state and the sex of the baby
Read full details of my Anomaly scan here
Third Trimester [7- Due date]
During this trimester ;
- You will gain the most weight as compared to the first 6 months of your pregnancy.
- The Feutus or your baby will also grow most rapidly during this period as it prepares to join the world.
- You stomach/belly will change in shape and protude significantly and would drop down low as your due date draws near and the baby's head engages in preparation for delivery.
- In some cases [like mine] you navel will become convex and pop out due to your expanding abdomen.
- Fetal movement is usually quite strong during this period.
- You will experience "Braxton Hicks" contractions during this period
- You become more uncomfortable and may experience a weak baldder and back aches
- Sleeping comfortably during this period is also quite an uphill task.
- Your bags should be long packed in readiness for the hospital
Your Delivery/ Childbirth:
The process of normal childbirth is broken down into three stages;
- Latent Stage: Labour may last anywhere from some minutes to several days with contractions which are the intensification of the Braxton Hicks contractions
- Shortening and Dilation of the Cervix: This begins when the thinned Cervix is 3cm dilated and may lead to a rupture of membranes or a blood stained "show",
- Descent and birth of the infant/baby: This occurs from when the cervix is fully dilated to when the baby is finally born. As the pressure on the cervix increases there is increased uterine contractions so that the baby can be born. The baby's head is fully engaged during this time and birth of the head of the baby signifies a sucessful birth/delivery.
- Delivery of the Placenta: The uterus expels the placenta [also called after birth] within 15 to 30 minutes after the birth of the baby.
Prenatal Development/ Abdominal growth:
Good-Luck with your pregnancy and delivery!!!