Pregnancy is a term that is used to describe a woman’s state over nine months during which one or more offspring develops inside a woman. Usually, childbirth happens approximately 38 weeks after conception, or about 40 weeks after the last menstrual period. The normal pregnancy term lasts between 37 and 47 weeks. During the first ob-gyn visit, your doctor will provide an estimated date (which is given based on a sonogram) at which your child will be born or the due date.
Also, the due date can be estimated based on the woman’s last menstrual period. The due date can be estimated, but the actual length of pregnancy depends on different factors, like age, length of previous pregnancies, and the weight of the mother at birth. But, studies have shown that there are lot more factors that are affecting the natural variation in pregnancy terms, and they are not well understood.
Many studies are said that fewer than 4% of births happen on the exact due date, sixty percent happen within a week of the due date and almost ninety percent happen within two weeks of the due date. So, while it is still possible to be fairly confident that a person’s child will be born about 2 weeks of the due date, it is currently not possible to predict the exact day of birth with certainty.
Your pregnancy can be detected by using pregnancy tests. Also, you can notice a number of symptoms, including increase frequency of urination, nausea, fatigue, increased basal body temperature, and a missed menstrual period. The pregnancy test will involve the detection of hormones that serve as biomarkers for pregnancy and they include urine tests or clinical blood tests and they can detect pregnancy from 6 – 8 days after fertilization.
The clinical blood tests are more accurate. They can detect exact amounts of the hormone hCG (this hormone is present only during pregnancy) earlier in smaller quantities. But, they take more time to evaluate and they are more expensive than home pregnancy urine tests. Also, it is possible to get a clinical urine test, but they are not necessarily more accurate than a home pregnancy test and they can be potentially more costly.
Knowing that you are pregnant:
When you find out that you are pregnant, you may be shocked, confused, and upset or you can be happy and excited. Every woman is different. You should not worry if you are not feeling as happy as you expected even if you have been trying to get pregnant. Some of these emotions are caused by changes in your hormone levels and they can make you feel more emotional. Even if you are feeling anxious and uncertain now, then your feelings may change.
How to maintain healthy pregnancy naturally:
If you want to get pregnant or you are already pregnant, then you probably know some of the basic pregnancy advice about taking care of yourself and your baby. You should not smoke or be around secondary smoke. You should not drink and get your rest. There are plenty of natural things which you can do to stay healthy during your pregnancy.
Get some rest:
In the first few months, you can feel fatigued and this is happening due to high levels of pregnancy hormones circulating in your body. Later, this is happening because you are not being able to get comfortable in bed or you are getting up in the night to go to the loo. You should try to make the habit to sleep on your side. By the 3rd trimester, sleeping on your side will reduce the risk of stillbirth compared to sleep on your back. If your sleep is distributed at night, then you should try to take a quick nap in the middle of the day or go to the bed early to catch up.
If this is not possible, then you should put your feet up and try to relax for thirty minutes. If the backache is disturbing your sleep, then you should try lying down on your side with your knees bent. You can place a wedge – shaped pillow under your bump, because this can help you to ease the strain on your back.
Exercise can give you a relief from the backache. This can help you with the sleep problems too, as long as you do not get exercise too close to bedtime. To unwind before going to bed, or to get back to sleep during the night, you should try a relaxation techniques, such as massage, visualization, deep breathing, stretching and yoga.
When you are smoking during pregnancy, then this can cause serious health problems for you and your baby. Smoking can increase the risk of your baby for sudden infant death syndrome or cot death, stillbirth, low birth weight and premature birth. Also, smoking can make pregnancy complications, such as placental abruption, ectopic pregnancy and miscarriage. If you smoke, then it is best to stop, for you and the health of your baby. It is better to stop smoking not matter of the time of your pregnancy, because smoking can worsen the health of both of you.
In one study done in 2007 on more than 12,000 children was found that youngsters whose mothers ate the most fish during pregnancy have higher I.Q.s and they have better communication and motor skills, compared to those whose mothers did not eat fish. Scientists say that this is possible because high amounts of Omega – 3 fatty acids found in fish. Omega – 3 fatty acids are nutrients that are critical for the brain development.
But, you should be careful to fish that you consume, because some of them have mercury, which is toxic element for babies and adults. It is recommended not eating more than 12 ounces of fish per week for pregnant women. You should stick with catfish, Pollack, salmon, shrimps and light tuna. You should avoid tilefish, king mackerel, shark and swordfish which are all high in mercury.
Cut back on caffeine:
When you are drinking too much caffeine, then this can increase your risk of miscarriage. Caffeine is found in many different drinks, such as energy drinks, chocolate, cola, tea and coffee. Some doctors say that too much caffeine can increase the risk of having a low – birth weight baby, but there need to be done a lot more studies to be sure.
Nowadays, it is known that staying up to 200 mg of caffeine on daily basis will not cause harm to your developing baby. This is equal to two cups of instant coffee. You should cut out caffeine altogether, particularly in the first trimester. Fruit juices, fruit teas, and decaffeinated tea and coffee are safe natural alternatives.
Cut out alcohol:
Alcohol rapidly reaches your baby via bloodstream and the placenta, no matter of the alcohol you drink. There is no way to know how much alcohol will be safe during pregnancy, so it is recommended to cut out alcohol completely while you are expecting a baby. It is important to avoid too much alcohol during the first trimester and the third trimester. When you drink alcohol in the first trimester, then it can increase your risk of miscarriage.
When you drink alcohol in the third trimester, then this can affect the development of your baby. It is recommended to avoid alcohol completely in the first trimester. But, if you decide to drink after this stage, then you should stick to no more than 1 unit or 2 units of alcohol, no more than once or twice a week.
When you drink heavily or binge drinking during pregnancy is very harmful for you and your baby. Mothers to be, who drink heavily on a regular basis, are having more chances to give birth to baby with FASD (fetal alcohol spectrum disorders). There can be different problems, which range from learning difficulties to more serious birth defects.
You should add more fruits in your diet, because they have natural sugars, like those in bananas and apples and they can lift your energy levels.
Pelvic floor exercises:
The pelvic floor has a basket of muscles whichare at the base of the pelvis. It is known that these muscles support your back passage, vagina and bladder. In pregnancy, they can feel weaker than usual because they have extra pressure. Also, pregnancy hormones can cause your pelvic floor to slacken slightly. When you have weak pelvic floor muscles, then they will put you at risk for developing stress incontinence.
This is a reason why you leak urine when you exercise, laugh or sneeze. You can do Kegels or pelvic floor exercises regularly throughout your pregnancy because this will help to strengthen your muscles. You will benefit if you do 8 pelvic floor squeezes, 3 times per day.