Category Archives: Pregnancy & Child birth

Pregnancy Timeline

Weeks 1-4
Fertilisation occurs and a ball of quickly multiplying cells embeds itself in the lining of the uterus.CLICK & SEE
In the UK pregnancy is calculated from the first day of the woman’s last period so for as much as three weeks of this first month she might not be actually pregnant. When fertilisation does occur the tiny mass of cells called a blastocyst at this stage embeds itself in the lining of the womb which is already thickening to support it.

Week 5
The mass of cells is developing fast and becomes an embryo. For many women the first sign of pregnancy is a missed period.
Shopbought tests are considered largely reliable so the mother-to-be does not have to have her pregnancy confirmed by her GP. If a first test is negative a second one a few days later may prove positive as hormone levels in the urine rise.....CLICK & SEE

Week 6
The embryo officially becomes a foetus. It is about the size of a baked bean and its spine and nervous system begin to form.
The foetus already has its own blood system and may be a different blood group from its mother. Blood vessels are forming in what will become the umbilical cord and tiny buds which will become limbs appear.

Week 7

The baby’s heart is beginning to develop. Morning sickness and other side effects of early pregnancy may take hold.
Around this time many women find they experience the side-effects of early pregnancy including needing to urinate more often nausea and vomiting and feeling a bit weepy and irritable. All medication including supplements need to be carefully checked as the foetus is undergoing vital development in the first 12 weeks. If the woman has not told her GP or community midwife she is pregnant yet now is a good time to do so.

Week 8

It is quite common to have a first scan at this stage if the woman has had a previous miscarriage or bleeding.
An early scan is often done through the vagina and is used to check the pregnancy is not ectopic. It should show up the baby´s heartbeat. The nervous system is also developing rapidly especially the brain. The head gets bigger and eyes form under the skin of the face. The foetus’ limbs are growing and look more like arms and legs. All internal organs are developing and becoming more complex.

Week 9
The foetus is about 5cm long with its head tucked onto its chest. It has most its major organs and eyes and ears are developing.

Week 10
A scan at 10-13 weeks is recommended to pin down the date of the pregnancy.

Week 11
The umbilical cord is fully formed providing nourishment and removing waste products. The foetus looks fully human now.

Week 12
By this week the threat of miscarriage is much reduced. Many women announce their pregnancy to friends and colleagues.
The foetus is growing in length much more quickly by now it is about eight cm long and weighs about 60 grams. The placenta is now wellformed though it’s not yet doing its full job it takes over fully in week 14. The mother is likely to have her first scan this week.

Week 13
The womans uterus is becoming larger and is starting to rise out of the pelvis. The foetus can move its head quite easily.

Week 14

Third of the way through. The average pregnancy lasts 266 days or 280 days from the first day of last period.

Week 15
Screening for Downs syndrome is offered about now. A simple blood test is carried out first then further tests may be offered.
On the basis of the blood test results the woman may opt for a Chorionic Villus sample or an amniocentesis which would diagnose Down’s syndrome or other chromosomal abnormalities. However these diagnostic tests have a small risk of subsequent miscarriage. An alternative to blood tests is a nuchal translucency scan a new scan offered by some larger hospitals. But again an amniocentisis would be required for firm diagnosis.

Week 16
The foetus now has toe and finger nails eyebrows and eyelashes. It is also covered with downy hair.
The hair that will cover the baby until the last week or so of pregnancy – called lanugo – starts to form. This hair is very fine more like down and it probably serves as some form of insulation and protection for the skin.

Week 17
The foetus can hear noises from the outside world. By this stage the mother is visibly pregnant and the uterus is rising.

Week 18
By this stage the foetus is moving around a lot – probably enough to be felt.

Week 19
The foetus is now about 15-20cm long and weighs about 300g. Milk teeth have formed in the gums.

week 20
Half way through pregnancy now. Almost all mothers are offered a routine scan. The foetus develops a waxy coating called vernix.
The scan can show the foetus in fine detail and often reveal if the baby is a boy or a girl. However not all hospitals offer to tell parents the sex of the child – and not all parents want to know.

Week 21
The mother may feel short of breath as her uterus pushes against her diaphragm leaving less space for the lungs.
The mother may be offered another ultrasound scan around this time. The scan can check the baby’s spine internal organs and growth are normal.

Week 22
Senses develop: taste buds have started to form on the tongue and the foetus starts to feel touch.

Week 23
The skeleton continues to develop and bones that form the skull begin to harden – but not fully.

Week 24
Antenatal checkup and scan to check the baby´s position. A baby born this early does sometimes survive.
A baby born at 24 weeks may possibly survive but it would have severe breathing difficulties as its lungs would not be strong enough to cope. It would also be very thin lightweight and susceptible to infections.

week 25

All organs are now in place and the rest of the pregnancy is for growth. Preeclampsia is a risk from here onwards.
This potentially fatal condition causes high blood pressure protein in the urine and swelling caused by fluid retention. The causes are unclear but research suggests it may be linked to an immune reaction to the foetus or the placenta. If the condition is serious women may be advised to take drugs to lower their blood pressure and in some cases an early caesarean or induction may be performed. Serious complications of pregnancy

Week 26
The foetus skin is gradually becoming more opaque than transparent.

Week 27
The foetus measures about 34cm and weighs about 800g.

Week 28
Routine checkup to test for preeclampsia. Women with Rhesus negative blood will also be tested for antibodies.
If the mother has Rh negative blood but the baby is Rh positive she can develop antibodies to her baby’s blood during labour. This is not a problem in the first birth but can affect subsequent pregnancies and result in stillbirth. Fortunately treatment is simple and effective. BBC Health: Ask the doctor – Rhesus disease

Week 29
Some women develop restless leg syndrome in their third trimester.
This is sensations such as crawling tingling or even cramps and burning inside the foot or leg – often in the evening and at night disturbing sleep and making the mother feel she needs to get up and walk around. No-one knows what causes this harmless but irritating condition.

Week 30
Braxton Hicks contractions may begin around now. They are practice contractions which dont usually hurt.
These are irregular, painless contractions which feel like a squeezing sensation near the top of the uterus. If contractions become painful or occur four times an hour or more, the woman should call a doctor as she may be in early labour.

Week 31
The foetus can see now and tell light from dark. The mother´s breasts start to produce colostrum about now
This high calorie milk is produced by the mother to feed the baby for the first few days after birth before normal milk starts.

Week 32
Another antenatal appointment. The foetus is about 42cm and weighs 2.2kg. A baby born now has a good chance of survival.

Week 33
From now the baby should become settled in a head downwards position. A midwife can help to move it if necessary.

Week 34
The mother may find it more difficult to eat full meals as the expanded uterus presses on her stomach.

Week 35
If the mother has been told she may need a planned caesarean, now is a good time to discuss it further.


Week 36

The baby’s head may engage in the pelvis any time now.

Week 37
The baby’s lungs are practically mature now and it can survive unaided. The final weeks in the womb are to put on weight.

Week 38
Babies born from this week onward are not considered early.

Week 39
Another ante-natal appointment. The mother has reached her full size and weight by now.

Week 40
In theory the baby should be born this week. The mother’s cervix prepares for the birth by softening.

Week 41
First babies are often up to a week late but if there are signs of distress to mother or child the birth will be induced.

CLICK TO SEE ALSO:->

PRE-NATAL
Minor complications
Serious complications

DURING LABOUR
Pain relief
Complications of labour

POST-NATAL
Breast vs bottle

RELATED INTERNET LINKS:
Childbirth.org
Family Planning Association 

Sources: BBC NEWS

Eating for Appropriate Weight Gain During Pregnancy

Years ago, many women thought of pregnancy as their ticket to eat anything they wanted, indulging any and all cravings and leaving portion control by the wayside. After all, they rationalized, they were  eating for two.  That thinking, however, has changed over time, with doctors now advising pregnant women of the risks to both mother and child of excess weight gain during pregnancy.

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Conversely, inadequate weight gain can also pose potential problems. So, how much weight should pregnant women gain and what nutrition guidelines will help them achieve it? This article answers those questions and more with regard to healthful eating during pregnancy.

Guidelines for Weight Gain
Exactly how much weight gain to aim for will vary among women and depends on several factors, including the mother’s pre-pregnancy weight, height, age, and health status, as well as whether or not the birth will involve twins, triplets, or more. See your doctor to determine the best weight gain goal for your individual situation.

In general, the following guidelines are used:

Women beginning pregnancy at a normal weight (defined as body mass index [BMI] of 19.8 to 26) are advised to gain 25 to 35 pounds during pregnancy.
Underweight women (BMI < 19.8) are advised to gain 28 to 40 pounds.
Overweight women (BMI 26 to 29) are advised to gain 15 to 25 pounds.
Obese women (BMI > 29) are advised to gain at least 15 pounds.

Risks of Too Little or Too Much Weight Gain
Gaining the recommended amount of weight is one of many factors that may help ensure a healthy pregnancy. Gaining too little weight can increase the risk for delivering a low–birth weight baby who may be at greater risk for developmental and health problems later on. Gaining too much weight can increase the mother’s risk for conditions such as pregnancy-induced hypertension and gestational diabetes. It may also be a risk factor for long-term obesity in the mother after the pregnancy is over.

Maximizing Nutrition Without Maximizing Calories
The approach to healthful eating during pregnancy is twofold: you want to eat for an appropriate weight gain, but you also want to make sure you and your unborn baby get all the nutrients you need. The best way to do that is to make sure your diet is high in healthful, nutrient-dense foods, and low in foods that provide lots of calories but little nutrition (such as cookies, chips, soda, and pastries).

Registered dietitians recommend using the USDA’s Food Guide Pyramid as a guide for eating from each of the food groups every day. Choose a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, dairy foods, and healthful fats (such as those in olive oil, fish, nuts, seeds, and peanut butter). And be sure to take any prenatal supplements your doctor may have prescribed.

Of course, physical activity also plays a role in pregnancy weight gain. Getting regular exercise during pregnancy may help you achieve your recommended weight gain goal, but be sure to check with your doctor before embarking on any exercise program during pregnancy, especially if you haven’t been exercising regularly before pregnancy.

Pregnancy: No Time for Extreme Diets
Many people wonder if some of today’s popular diets, such as low-carbohydrate diets, are a good way of controlling weight gain during pregnancy. While there is little published data regarding the use of these diets during pregnancy, many nutrition experts advise that pregnancy and breastfeeding are not the time to embark on any type of extreme diet, particularly those that restrict entire food groups from the diet. If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, talk to your doctor before starting any kind of new diet.

A Note About Food Safety:
A discussion of healthful eating during pregnancy would be incomplete without a mention of food safety. While it’s important to eat a variety of foods and get adequate nutrients, it’s also important to avoid certain foods that could pose a risk to you or to your unborn baby.

Here are some of the foodborne illnesses that pose a particular risk to pregnant women:

Listeria. Listeria poisoning during pregnancy may increase the risk for miscarriage, stillbirth, and birth defects. Foods that may be contaminated with listeria include unpasteurized milk, deli meats, hot dogs, and soft cheeses (such as feta, Brie, and blue cheeses).
Mercury and PCB contamination. Some types of fish, including shark, swordfish, king mackerel, and tile fish, may have higher levels of chemical pollutants that can be harmful to unborn babies and small children. Pregnant and breastfeeding women are advised to avoid these types of fish.
E. Coli 0157:H7. This bacterium may be found in raw and undercooked meat and unpasteurized milk. Be sure to cook all meats to appropriate temperatures and avoid cross-contamination by using separate cutting boards for raw and cooked foods.

Source: http://www.beliefnet.com/healthandhealing/getcontent.aspx?cid=38209

Getting Back In Shape After Childbirth

Following the birth of a child, a new mother is often overwhelmed by the tasks of parenthood. Besides adjusting to her new lifestyle, the mother must turn her attention to her own body. Hormonal changes during pregnancy and the growth of the fetus in the uterus have tremendous effects on the mother’s body. The pelvic floor, which is a group of muscles which support the abdominal organs, is often weakened and stretched during pregnancy and childbirth. To restore strength to these muscles a woman must perform a series of exercises..…CLICK & SEE

During the nine months of pregnancy, the woman’s body continues to change and evolve to meet the needs of the unborn baby. However, within weeks after the baby is born, the mother can take steps to enhance the healing in her body. With proper exercise, a new mother can speed her recovery time and simultaneously feel better about herself.

A Post Partum Exercise Regimen

Strengthening of the abdominal and pelvic floor muscles represent the foundation of a post-partum exercise program. During childbirth, the abdominal muscles are often stretched and the pelvic floor muscles traumatized. Although the uterus will return to normal size within six weeks, specific strengthening exercises are required to restore the tone to the abdominal muscles.

Specifically, patients need to practice a series of four exercises designed to promote the strength of the affected muscles. First, identify the pelvic floor muscles by partially emptying the bladder and stopping the urine flow. This exercise promotes the strength of the pelvic floor muscle. Secondly, while laying supine, flatten the stomach and hold for five seconds. (Don’t forget to keep breathing). The third recommended exercise is called the “straight curl up.” To perform this exercise, the woman should lay on the ground with her feet flat on the floor. Then, she should reach forward toward the knees, lifting her shoulders off the floor. During each motion, the woman should pause and slowly return to the starting position. Finally, the diagonal curl up will boost the strength of the abdominal muscles. To perform this exercise, the woman should again rest on the back with the knees flexed and the feet flat. Then, to complete the exercise, the woman must diagonally reach across her body with her right hand extending toward her left knee. Then slowly return to the starting position and resume the exercise, only this time reaching her left hand to her right knee. The performance of these exercises will allow the new mother to restore healthy and strong muscles.

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Restoring Back Strength

As a mother gets back on her feet following delivery, moderate exercise is important. Experts often recommend walking (and pushing a stroller) because it restores back strength and posture. During pregnancy and childbirth, the muscles of the back tend to shorten, leading to a rotated pelvis. Physical therapists call this forward rotation a lordosis, “sway-back” position.

To correct this condition after pregnancy, a woman can perform several other exercises. The first exercise referred to as a “bridge,” requires the woman to rest on the back with her knees bent and feet flat. Then, she must gently lift her hips toward the ceiling. A second exercise designed to improve posture center on pelvic tilting. In this exercise, the woman must rest on her back and contract the abdominal muscles while simultaneously flattening the arch of the back into the floor. This exercise will strengthen the abdomen and reduce the possibility of the “sway back” position. Finally, women who just gave birth to a baby must guard against awkward lifting positions that can cause back complications. The mother must instead remember the proper lifting techniques of bending at the knees and keeping the head and chest high. By practicing these and other post partum exercises, women can maintain their health and enjoy their new bundle of joy.

Yoga Exercises under the guidance of some expart is the best way to rejuvenile yourself and mentain good health,mind and soul all along.

Source:Therapy Services Associates