Pregnancy can be an exciting time. However, it is challenging too. You can feel another human growing inside you, which can give you a sense of elation, but at the same time, you experience massive changes in your body, which can leave you perplexed and tired. Your belly grows in size, you gain weight, your breasts get enlarged, you tend to urinate often, you get back, belly, and leg pains -- all these things happen as your baby transforms from a fertilised egg into a fully grown human. Since this period, which lasts for 9 months, can be both challenging and confusing, it is better to be stay informed. Here are all of your pregnancy-related questions answered.
Pregnancy displays many symptoms, some of which you might experience even before you take a pregnancy test. There are some you will experience as your hormones change.
Here are some common symptoms of pregnancy:
These are the most common pregnancy symptoms, there can be other symptoms too:
You can take a pregnancy test if you think you are pregnant. Many women take one after they miss their period. However, you must wait for at least a week after you miss your period before taking the test. This is because when you take a pregnancy test, you are actually checking for the presence of a hormone, called human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), in your body. Your body releases hCG once the fertilised egg attaches to the uterus wall, which generally takes at least 6 days.
You can either take the urine-based test at home or at a clinic or a blood test, which can be only taken at a clinic. Blood tests are more accurate as they can confirm even a tiny amount of hCG. However, most women find it convenient to take a home-based test and then confirm the same with the blood test.
You can easily get a home pregnancy kit at any medical store. It comes with a dipstick, and might also contain a collection cup. You have to pee in the cup and then place the dipstick in it. Some kits might require you to pee on the stick. Wait for a few minutes for the results to show. If it comes out to be positive, it means you are pregnant and must see a doctor as soon as you can.
Pregnancy, which spans 9 months or 40 weeks, is divided into 3 trimesters, each of which is marked by new developments in the fetus. Although it usually takes 40 weeks for the baby to be fully developed, the baby can be born anywhere between the 37th and 42nd weeks.
This is a crucial period when your baby’s structure and organs begin to take shape. It’s also the time when most miscarriages and bodily defects happen. Your body also undergoes major changes -- you start putting on weight, your breasts get larger, you urinate often, and feel tired. However, just like pregnancy, its symptoms differ from woman to woman.
Often called the ‘golden period’ of pregnancy, in the second trimester, you no longer experience the unpleasant symptoms associated with the first trimester. The morning sickness goes away, you can sleep better, and you get your energy back in this period. However, this doesn’t mean that it will be a cakewalk, as you will experience a whole new set of symptoms, such as back and leg pain, constipation, indigestion, and heartburn. This is also the period when you will feel your baby’s movement for the first time.
The final leg of pregnancy, the third trimester can be both challenging and exciting. Your baby fully develops and you experience a whole new set of symptoms during this time. You might experience breathlessness, frequent urination, hemorrhoids, varicose veins, and sleeping problems.
Eating right is important at any point in life. However, it becomes all the more important when you are pregnant, as it is crucial for your health and that of your baby. And, you do not need to go on a special diet for that. Just focus on a variety of foods, and try to get as many nutrients and minerals as you can. These tips might help:
Just like there are foods that you should have during pregnancy, there are some you must avoid, such as the highly processed ones that are high in trans fats, bad carbs, sugars, and salt. Hence, avoid or limit the intake of foods such as sugary drinks, ice cream, cakes, fast foods, etc.
Exercising during pregnancy is healthy for both you and your baby. However, it is still better to talk to your doctor before taking up physical activity. Here are some exercises you can do:
Some women during pregnancy develop some health conditions. These complications might be related to the mother or the baby and might need urgent medical attention. Here are some such complications, whose signs you must not ignore:
Pregnancy is a critical time when you should take utmost care of yourself. Here are some tips that might help:
Other than these, you much undergo frequent prenatal checkups. It will not only make you better informed but will also prevent any pregnancy-related issues and complications.