Being pregnant is a very wonderful gift. Although there will be many interruptions caused by your pregnancy, you have to be more careful because there is a little human inside you. With this, it is necessary to understand the process of pregnancy and what you can do to make your pregnant days healthier.
When Does Pregnancy Start?
Pregnancy starts on the first day of your last menstrual period (if you have confirmed your pregnancy). It is very important to know the first day of your last menstruation because this will be used in determining the age of your baby and your due date.
First Signs of Pregnancy
There are times when you feel like you are pregnant especially when you know you had unprotected sex. However, it does not mean that when you feel it, it is 100% correct. So, here are the early signs of pregnancy which you may take a look at:
Different women have different experiences but usually, you can assume that you are pregnant when you missed a period. This is actually the hallmark of pregnancy and you can confirm by using pregnancy tests.
Typically, a pregnancy test can detect the hormone hCG four weeks after your first period because it takes a lot of time for the hormone to be built on your body. Personally, I recommend the product Clearblue Digital Pregnancy Test because it is very accurate. I tested my urine for possible pregnancy even before my menstruation day and the result turned out to be positive!
Implantation bleeding means there is spotting. So, after 7 to 14 days of fertile, if you are pregnant, you will see bleeding spots on your panty or panty liner. This is because the victorious fertilized egg has finally implanted itself on the lining of your uterus. There are times when these spotting and cramps are mistaken for a menstrual period so it is really important to confirm your pregnancy.
Usually, you would not notice these spots to come. In my experience, the reason why used a pregnancy test is that I feel a painful stomach cramp and when I look at my panty, there is a red spot. If you are pregnant and you want to relieve your stomach cramps, you can take a warm bath but it is important to not exceed 15 minutes in the shower. According to a study, the temperature during your pregnancy affects your child’s development.
Symptoms of Pregnancy
Nausea and Vomiting
Commonly, nausea and vomiting are what we always see in the movies and it is true because when you are pregnant your stomach is upset. Others may experience this every morning (morning sickness) and others may experience it at any time of the day. Interestingly, others may not experience it at all!
Based on my experience, I always have this symptom every morning. According to a study, nausea and vomiting during pregnancy affect the quality of life of women. If you want to avoid this symptom, I recommend the product Pink Stork Pro. It has probiotics and it really relieves morning sickness and digestive discomforts.
According to a study, a pregnant woman becomes moody because of hormonal changes. If you are naturally moody, you cannot consider this as an early symptom of pregnancy unless you have already confirmed through a positive pregnancy test. Being pregnant makes you more irritated and sensitive even to smells and that is normal for pregnant people.
When I was pregnant, I became a moody person. I try to fight my moods because I never want to get angry or frown. So, I looked out for a way aside from exercising in order to boost my mood especially because I have to deal with different people and patients while I work. Eventually, I came into this product called Naturelo and I was surprised because my mood is getting better every day!
The reason why you pee more than usual when you are pregnant is that your hormones expand your kidneys to remove more waste which might endanger you and your child. As days pass by your desire to pee increases and if you feel any pain when urinating, it is important to consult your doctor immediately for a possible UTI.
Back when I was pregnant, I always get up in the middle of the night because I want to pee and our bathroom is located outside of the room. Because of this, I get this sleep disturbance and I find it hard to get back to bed. So, to make it easier for me to pee, I bought this foldable chamber pot.
The throbbing of the head is another symptom of pregnancy. According to a study, many pregnant women suffer from migraine and tension-type headaches during their pregnancy days. When you feel you are pregnant and you want to take a medicine to relieve your headache, it is important that you must consult your ob-gyne so that you will have an assurance that your baby will not be affected by the medicines you take.
If you do not want to take any medicines and you have not yet consulted your doctor. you can try this peppermint oil. It relaxes your muscles and relieves your headache.
According to a study, breast tenderness happens because of hormonal changes. In the first weeks of pregnancy, a lot of women may experience this soreness. However, as days pass by, this tenderness will decline.
In order to relieve this tenderness, you can try a comfortable bra and I recommend buying a bigger size than your usual size or you can try a maternity or nursing bra. Another way to relieve this soreness is by using breast lubricants.
Tiredness, Laziness, and Sleepiness
Oftentimes, when you are pregnant, you do not actually pay attention to these three because you find everything as normal. However, when you ask the people around you, they will notice your attitudes.
When I was pregnant, I was working in a hospital and basically, it is very toxic. Back then, I always feel like I am so active and groovy while I am on duty but my co-workers say that I look tired, lazy, and I always take longer naps than usual.
Before I found out that I am pregnant, I constantly feel this pain but I did not pay attention to it because it is common for me because of my work. Then, as days pass by after finding out that I am pregnant, this back pain worsens! According to a study, back pain is very common especially in the latter part of your pregnancy. Fortunately, you can use this product to relieve your pain.
Food cravings happen because when you are pregnant, you are learning a mechanism called taste aversion learning. The best thing to do to address this is by getting the food you want to it. There is no problem with it as long as you know your limits!
Shortness of Breath
Shortness of breath occurs when you are pregnant because your body is demanding more oxygen in order to supply enough amounts of it to your baby. As your baby grows inside you, you will experience this symptom often and at peak at the latest part of your pregnancy. In order to address this, always try to practice good posture in order to make a space for your child to move inside you.
Leg swelling is a symptom that may come in the latter part of your pregnancy. In the Philippines, we have one great way to relieve this symptom without taking any medications and that is by using this pillow and placing our feet on top of them so it will look like our feet are elevated.
When Does Pregnancy Symptoms Start?
Pregnancy symptoms may start as early as the first week of pregnancy. However, some individuals may not feel any symptoms until the later part of the first trimester. Interestingly, pregnancy symptoms are commonly the same as the symptoms you may feel before your menstruation day.
Other Ways You Can Do to Soothe Your Pregnancy Symptoms
A pregnancy pillow is a great tool to use when you are pregnant. However, it is important to choose a quality pillow and a durable one. Also, choose a pillow that is not too soft and not too hard. Additionally, choose a multifunctional pillow.
Vitamins and supplements
I found a very great multivitamins product and I want to share it with you. This product is made from nutritious and organic foods that support a healthy pregnancy for you and your baby.
Unusual Signs of Pregnancy
When you feel or notice the following signs, talk to your doctor immediately so as not to harm your health or the baby inside you:
Severe stomach and back pain
Severe and constant headaches and dizziness
On and off contractions
Decreased baby movement after 28 weeks of pregnancy
Fever or chills with vomiting and diarrhea
Too much muscle swelling and convulsion especially on the face, legs, and feet
How Many Weeks Pregnant Am I?
Pregnancy is counted from the first day of your last menstruation. For example, if your cycle is 28 days, you are probably 4 weeks pregnant on the day you missed your period. If after a week you have not yet gotten your expected period, then, you are 5 weeks pregnant.
Pregnancy Stages and Changes per Stage
Pregnancy is divided into three trimesters and every trimester is divided into three months. Every visit to your doctor will make you understand your baby’s development. Although the common timeline for a baby’s development is 9 months, there are also mothers who are giving birth on their 7th or 8th months of pregnancy.
Conception up to 12 weeks of pregnancy belongs to this stage. Early changes happen during the first trimester. Hormonal changes will start during the first weeks of this stage and the common symptoms such as food cravings, mood swings, and nausea are being experienced. Additionally, your daily routine starts to be affected, too. You will really feel different and you might be going to bed earlier than usual and your appetite changes as well.
During the 4th week of your pregnancy, your baby is developing many important organs that are why this stage is the most crucial one. For this stage, I recommend a supplement that provides DHA for your child. Also, your baby is now an embryo and the following are the organs and body parts your baby is developing during the 4th week:
- Brain, heart, and spinal cord start to form
- Placenta develops
- Arm and leg buds begin to develop
During the 8th week of your pregnancy, your baby from being an embryo will now become what we call a fetus and you can already hear your baby’s heartbeat. If you want to listen to your baby’s heartbeat while you are at home, you can try a fetal monitor. If you are going to buy one, I recommend a rechargeable one. The following are the organs and body parts that are being developed:
- All major organs such as the digestive tract and sensory organs start to form
- The heart starts to beat
- The arm and leg buds grow longer and finger and toes start to form
- Sex organ begins to develop
- Face features starts to develop
- The umbilical cord is now visible
During the 12th week of your pregnancy, a lot has developed already on your baby and the interesting part is that the sex organs of your baby are shown but it is not yet possible to identify if your baby is a girl or a boy because it is not clear yet on your ultrasound.
- The muscles and nerves begin to work together
- Your baby can now close his or her fist and mouth
- The beginnings of teeth are also being formed under your baby’s gums
- Your baby’s urinary systems starts to work and your baby can even produce bile
- Eyelids of your baby are closed
- Head growth slows down
The second trimester includes the weeks 13-28 of your pregnancy and this stage is easier than the first one. Changes are still there and there will be more to come but symptoms start to lessen. A baby bump can be noticed and at the end of this stage, you can already feel the movement of your baby. For your part, you will see some stretch marks, the line on your belly button down on your pubic hair, and dark skin will be seen on your armpit, front neck, and back neck.
Personally, I have acquired a lot of stretch marks on my body and I use this product in order to lighten them:
During the 16th week of your pregnancy, your baby continues to develop the following:
- Musculoskeletal system continues to develop
- Skin begins to form
- Teeth and bones become denser
- Your baby’s first bowel movement (meconium) will develop on your baby’s intestinal tract
- Sucking reflex will start
During the 20th week of your pregnancy, your baby becomes more active and you will start to feel those kicks! Additionally, the following are the other developments on your baby:
- Eyebrows, eyelashes, fingernails, and toenails are already formed
- Your baby stretches and exercise his or her muscles
- Your baby can hear and swallow
- Lanugo, a soft fine hair that will protect and cover your baby, is already present
- A white wax coat will start to protect your baby’s skin
During the 24th week of your pregnancy, these are the developments on your baby:
- Bone marrow begins to make blood cells
- Taste buds start to form
- Footprints and fingerprints are fully formed
- You baby’s lung have formed but it is not yet working
- The sleep cycle of your baby becomes regular
- If your baby is a boy, his testicle begins to descend into the scrotum
- If your baby is a girl, uterus and ovaries are already in place
The third trimester is the last stage of pregnancy. During this stage, you will feel a lot of discomforts because your baby is really growing and this makes your baby put more pressure on your organs. During this stage, you will see much swelling, especially on your feet and ankles. Also, you will start to notice that there are white liquids coming out from your nipples, and this called colostrum.
During the 32nd week of your pregnancy, these are the following developments on your baby:
- Bones are formed but they are still soft
- Your baby’s hearing is fully developed
- Kicking increases
- The eyes can be opened and closed
- Lungs are fully formed but breathing can only be considered as practice breathing
- Vital minerals are being stored in the body
During the 36th week of your pregnancy, the following are the developments on your baby:
- You baby’s body fat increases
- Because your baby is bigger, he or she is having a little space for him or her to move
During the 37th week to 40th week of your pregnancy, your baby is considered full-term and your baby starts to position himself or herself. The head-down position is usually the best position but there are times when the baby is in breached position.
Tips for a Healthy Pregnancy
1. Prenatal care
Even before you get pregnant, it is important to have family planning discussions with your health care provider. If you pregnant already, as soon as possible, get prenatal care in order to avoid complications. According to a study, having prenatal care can help you avoid delivering a low-birth-weight baby. Additionally, when you get prenatal care, tell your doctors about your family history and other complications in order to avoid birth defects or problems.
2. Maintain a healthy diet
Yes, you crave a lot during your pregnancy days and it is okay to consume the food you want to eat. However, it is important to keep in mind to always eat healthy in order to keep yourself and your baby from harm.
According to a study, having a healthy diet during pregnancy can improve your overall health. To get a view of the healthy foods you can eat while you are pregnant, you can try this book.
3. Prenatal vitamins
You may get the nutrients you need from the food you eat but there are many vitamins and minerals which you cannot absorb. With this, it is important to take prenatal vitamins particularly folic acid and calcium. These prenatal vitamins ensure that you and your baby are getting the essential vitamins for proper development during pregnancy.
According to a study, taking prenatal vitamins can prevent your baby to have birth defects when they are born. Personally, I recommend this product as your vitamins during your pregnancy. I used this one when I was pregnant and the results are really great!
4. Exercise regularly
There are two major types of delivery: normal and cesarean. Normal delivery is what pregnant women aim and to get this type of delivery, exercising will help. Additionally, exercising will help you ease your pregnancy discomforts and aids in your postpartum recovery. Also, exercising during your pregnancy days can reduce your stress, improve your circulation, gives you better sleep, and improves your mood. However, it is important to consult your doctor before diving into some exercises.
According to a study, exercising during pregnancy can help you avoid anxiety and depression. Try exercising using a maternity yoga ball every morning for 15 minutes. It will help you boost your mood and increases your chance to deliver your baby via normal section.
5. Listen to your body
When your feel like you are tired, go ahead and take a nap. Always be alert of what your body tells you. Do not overdo things when you feel you are already exhausted.
6. Eliminate alcohol and caffeine
Consuming alcohol can affect the development of your child’s spinal cord and brain. Additionally, too much caffeine intake can make you at a higher risk of having a miscarriage. According to a study, consuming alcohol and caffeine during your pregnancy can increase the risk of your baby to have childhood leukemia.
If you want an energy drink with no caffeine content, I recommend Premama Prenatal Energy Boost Drink Mix.
7. Avoid smoking
Also, it is important to also avoid second-hand smoking. According to a study, smoking can cause many pregnancy complications such as ectopic pregnancy and preterm labor. In another study, exposing yourself to second-hand smoke while you are pregnant can affect your child’s neurological development.
8. Do not take any medicines without your doctor’s consent
All drugs and medicines affect your child’s development but there are certain drugs and medicines that can make your baby at risk of developing birth defects or behavioral problems. So, whenever you decide to take a certain medicine, always remember to consult your doctor first.
9. Limit your exposure
When you are pregnant, certain chemicals can affect your pregnancy. In order to keep your baby away from developing birth defects, limit your exposure to hazardous or toxic household cleaning solutions. According to a study, being exposed to chemicals while pregnant can disrupt your child’s development.
10. Visit your dentist
Did you know that visiting your dentist is actually a great way of saving money? According to a study, oral health is very important during your pregnancy days because, during pregnancy, you are at risk of having gingivitis and cavities. In order to keep yourself free of these, visit your dentist regularly.
11. Wear sunscreen
When you are pregnant, you are more at risk of having sunburn and chloasma. According to a study, wearing sunscreen during pregnancy can help in preventing your skin to have dark patches or other skin conditions. In order to keep this from happening, consider using sunscreen.
12. Educate yourself
Educating yourself about pregnancy is a great way to make your pregnancy a healthy one. There are many lessons you can learn such as taking care of yourself during pregnancy, the delivery methods, and infant care. Also, educating yourself means you are also learning about postpartum depression.
You can also consider reading pregnancy books for you to understand the importance of prenatal care and what are the ways you can do in order to keep your pregnancy healthy.
13. Track your weight gain
Although your weight is being recorded every time you visit your doctor, it is important to track your weight even when you are at home. Too much weight will make it harder for you to lose them after pregnancy and at the same time, too little weight can affect your child’s development. So, it is important to always maintain the right weight that is suited for you.
I personally recommend a specific weight scale and I choose this because of its durability. When you buy a weight scale, make sure that you can use this weight scale in weighing other items as well. In my case, I use this weight scale whenever I am sending packages so that I can get the exact weight of a certain box.
14. Drink more water
Drinking enough water aids in the proper delivery of oxygen and nutrients to your child. Additionally, it helps you prevent constipation, UTI, hemorrhoids, fatigue, headaches, and swelling. According to a study, drinking enough water during your pregnancy days ensures that you will have enough fluid reserves for you to able to tolerate blood loss during your delivery day.
15. Consume fruits
During your pregnancy days, you cannot take too much caffeine. So, as an alternative drink, you can consume fruits and fruit drinks. Having fruits in your daily routine does not just give your child the nutrients he or she needs but also keep your energy levels high.
You can also try this fruit smoothie if you want to have some fruits in the form of a drink!
On Your Delivery Day
Personally, the important thing to remember before your delivery day is preparedness. It is possible for you to deliver any time and with this, it is necessary to prepare the things you will need on the day of your delivery. This is to avoid procrastination and anxiety. Being prepared will make it all smooth and harmonious.
I recommend having your things be placed in a storage box. In case your baby wants to go out of your womb, you will just have to pick it up and go. Based on my experience, here are some things you may also need on your delivery day:
- Pairs of baby clothes
- Infant feeding bottles
- Baby diapers
- Baby blankets
- Maternity pads
- Adult diapers
- Cotton, alcohol, and tissues
If you want hassle-free shopping while preparing for the coming of your baby, you can get this newborn package product. It comes with pairs and a set of clothes for your newborn!
There are many notes you need to know when you think and feel that you are pregnant. When you finally confirmed it, you must understand the process of pregnancy in order to get a healthy one. There are many tips to get a healthy pregnancy and how to make your pregnancy days smooth and easy and there are products available that you can try. If you want to know more, I recommend reading Mayo Clinic Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy . For sure, you will learn a lot from it!
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