Pregnancy is the fertilization of a female egg when a male sperm reaches the ovary at the time of ovulation. Later, a female fertilized egg travels to the uterus where implantation takes place, and you are declared to be pregnant. Normally time span of pregnancy is 9 to 9.2 months, but external or internal factors might affect your pregnancy. If a woman is given proper care before a child’s birth, she will deliver a very healthy baby and won’t face difficulties while giving birth. It is very important to keep important factors in mind for your as well as your baby’s health.
Symptoms of Pregnancy
During pregnancy, there are many factors you might notice before going for a pregnancy test. Also, many symptoms arise later when your hormones change their form. Let us explore what are the possible symptoms of pregnancy.
1. Skipped Period: when we miss our periods, the first thing that comes to our mind is pregnancy. So yes, skipping the period is one of the earliest symptoms of being pregnant. Missing your periods is not always a sign of pregnancy as it can be due to some other underlying disease as well like the most common one PCOD/PCOS where symptoms like irregular periods are most common.
2. Blood Spotting: blood spotting is very common during the early pregnancy stage. It is common to observe little bleeding and spotting as it occurs due to implantation going on inside you. You observe irritation and itching while spotting and it leads to infection as the spotting affects your sensitive areas. Spotting is not always positive because at times bleeding leads to serious issues like miscarriage, and you must contact your doctor as soon as possible.
3. Putting on weight: Weight gaining weight is very common because another life is growing inside you. You notice weight gain when you are in the later stage of pregnancy as you are feeding yourself and your baby.
4. Headache: headache occurs when your hormones are too much elevated and blood increases in the body. Your blood increases because something is increasing inside you that requires blood but if your headache is turning worse, you must consult your doctor.
5. Hypertension: going through high blood pressure leads to anger which is very common during pregnancy. It is caused due to feeling overweight. It is also caused due to other habits like drinking, smoking, and at times due to a family history of being a patient of hypertension.
6. Heartburn: it is nothing but acid formation due to a change in eating habits or less eating. When acid is released, it causes heartburn. At times acid is formed due to spicy eating habits.
7. Constipation: constipation occurs due to less digestion so during pregnancy your digestive system responds slowly which leads to slower digestion hence causing constipation.
8. Cramps: You might feel that it is a menstrual cramp, but when something is increasing inside your body, it is obvious that your skin will stretch, and your stomach will increase in size, giving you the sensation of muscle aches and leading to cramps.
9. Backache: before considering overweight as a reason for back pain let us clear that stress that is caused on muscle and hormones due to pregnancy causes back pain. Later, being overweight becomes the reason for back pain.
10. Anemia: if you feel dizziness, you should consult your doctor, women with pregnancy are at higher risk of having anemia because the Baby’s body also needs blood to grow so the baby absorbs blood from the mother’s body. So, when fewer blood cells are formed it also leads to a decrease in oxygen.
11. Stress and Depression: there can be multiple factors leading to depression during pregnancy so if you feel mood swings, unusual stress, or overthink about something. You must inform your doctor what you are feeling. As you go through pregnancy there are many emotional as well as biological changes that take place in a woman’s body.
12. Insomnia: during pregnancy woman goes through a lot of physical discomforts so to avoid insomnia one must practice yoga and other exercises. Along with that taking, a good diet will also promote good sleeping habits.
13. Change in Breast form: When it is about your body you notice it very quickly so change in breast form is a very common sign during pregnancy. You feel tenderness, swelling, heaviness, fullness, increased nipples, and darkening of areoles and sensitivity.
14. Breakouts on the skin: Acne is very frustrating and game-changers in the lives of women. When your skin is oily you tend to have more acne and block your pores. Acnes are not lifetime because they fade away once the baby is born.
15. Puking: It occurs during the morning and is considered to be morning sickness. It is also an early symptom of pregnancy. It is the first sign that you are pregnant, but puking does not always mean you are pregnant.
16. Hip Ache: Heavy uterus usually causes hip pain as your posture is differentiated during pregnancy. It also occurs when you get pregnant late.
Each pregnancy week is full of a new experience for the mother as well as the baby. Now when we move forward pregnancy weeks are divided into three trimesters-
FIRST TRIMESTER: It is the phase between 1 to 12 weeks (about 3 months). During this phase, the baby starts beating his heart and starts developing his/her organs along with the brain and spinal cord. In this period, you are supposed to be most careful are chances of miscarriage are high. A study found that there is always one miscarriage in ten pregnancies.
SECOND TRIMESTER: It is the phase between 13 to 27 weeks (about 6 months). You can feel your baby kicking you, punching you, and moving inside your uterus during this phase. An anatomy ultrasound is prescribed to check if there is any abnormality in the development of a baby. Baby is viable after healthy 23 weeks (about 5 and a half months), which means your baby is now prepared to stay outside your womb. The babies who are born early have high chances of having abnormalities so the more you carry your pregnancy the more chances are of having a healthy baby.
THIRD TRIMESTER: It is the phase between 28 to 40 weeks (about 9 months). During this phase, your babies’ bones are formed, and you will gain weight and feel tired as the baby grows more. Your baby is ready to open and close his/her eyes. As the delivery approaches, you will start feeling labor pain through pelvic discomfort and your feet will start swelling.
Once you miss your periods having a pregnancy test at home itself is quite beneficial. Once the test is positive you must consult your doctor for the date of your pregnancy that is evaluated after an ultrasound. Once you miss your periods your pregnancy hormones (human chorionic gonadotropin) are increased in your body, it can be measured through urine or blood test.
VAGINAL DISCHARGE AND PREGNANCY
Too much vaginal discharge is the early sign of pregnancy. In the first one or two weeks, you tend to have more vaginal discharge. With time it only increases, and your discharge turns thicker. Once it turns thick and comes out with blood it is called a bloody show. If your discharge is weird in color like yellow and gray with a foul smell it is not a normal one and you must look after your doctor immediately.
URINARY TRACT INFECTIONS AND PREGNANCY
It is a type of complication women go through during their pregnancy. You feel a burning sensation and pain. Along with that, you suffer from frequent urination as well.
You also experience:
- Abdomen pain
- Lower back pain
- Blood in urine and cloudiness
Around 18% of women suffer from UTI. To prevent these infections, you must pee a lot, consume lots of water and avoid using anything on the vagina as it is a self-cleaning area. Don’t try to treat your infection of your own and do consult a doctor as soon as possible.
Various methods are used to prevent pregnancy and they are as follows:
- MEDICATIONS: they help you 99% of the times if the use is done properly and 91% when it is used typically.
- CONDOMS: using male or female condoms can be an effective method to prevent pregnancy as it does not allow your sperm to reach eggs. Male condoms help 98% if used properly and 82% if used during harsh intimacy. Female condoms help 95% if used properly and 79% if used typically.
- IUD’s: These are intrauterine devices that help 99% with effective use.
- Natural family planning: Family planning is very important before planning pregnancy so once you do an effective planning it leads to 75% of benefit in avoiding pregnancy. Family planning does not include no sex at all, but it says that before planning unprotected sex you should be prepared for another life to enter your life.
- NIGHT AFTER PILLS: it is usually consumed within 48 hours after having unprotected sexual activity. It is of 75% to 89% of effectiveness.
PMS or Pregnancy
A few early symptoms of PMS (Premenstrual syndrome) and pregnancy are the same, so a woman needs to know whether she is pregnant or having just another PMS phase. For that, it is prescribed to have a proper test.
Mutual symptoms of PMS and PREGNANCY are:
- Mood swings
- Breast ache
- Sensitivity to food
Diet for Pregnancy
Your pregnancy diet should be maintained as much as your daily healthy diet. You must consume food that contains-
- Fruits and vegetables
- Grains and legumes
- Healthy fats like almond
- Protein and complex carbohydrates
Consuming food rich in protein, iron, and fiber is very essential during pregnancy.
Vitamins and Minerals are important supplements– vitamins and minerals are the true requirements for a pregnant woman. They require it in a very large amount but with a total balance as it helps in keeping your nutrition value balanced.
Workout and Pregnancy
Yoga is the most important type of exercise that you need to perform during pregnancy as it helps you in keeping fit, peaceful, and flexible. Perform it under proper care and don’t overdo it. Exercising prepares you for labor, so it is a must addition to your routine for a better pregnancy.
PREGNANCY MASSAGE: Massage helps you in releasing your stress hormones, anxiety, and depression so it can be very good to have time to time massage during pregnancy. It also helps in getting relief from pain. Essential oils are not recommended yet as they might harm the baby, so avoid using them as further research is required.
When to Approach Medical Care
A woman who is above the age of 35 is at higher risk of having complications during pregnancy but women who are in their 20s or 30s are expected to have complication-free delivery. If you are going through kidney disease, cancer or any other underlying disease kindly seek a doctor.
Other risk factors include multiple babies like twins or triplets, being overweight, STD’s and anemia.
Pregnancy complications like hypertension, diabetes, and miscarriage can put you in trouble so you must look after a doctor if you see any kind of symptoms mentioned above for your as well as your baby’s healthy life.
Labor and Pregnancy
It is usual to experience labor pain or feeling usually after 4 months but that is nothing to worry about as your inner body prepares itself for real labor but if you experience such contractions on regular basis you should talk to your doctor. There are 3 types of labor which are described as follows-
- Early labor- during this period contractions are of about 30 to 45 seconds. In starting it might not be that long but when it at late stage it is up to 5 minutes.
- Active labor- during this period contractions turn intense, and you should consult doctor for better understanding.
- Labor pain- during this period contractions will have higher level of pain and you can use methods like listening to music, performing yoga and meditation to avoid such pain. You can consult your doctor for further methods or medications to avoid pain.
Do’s and Don’t’s
- Getting enough sleep
- Consuming multivitamins
- Taking a flu shot
- Smoking and drinking alcohol
- Putting on weight
- Eating nonveg items
It is very difficult to understand and know which medicines are good for you and which are not during pregnancy. So, for the same, you must consult with your doctor.
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