3.5

Fetal Growth and Development

by Maxine
Posted July 7 2010 12:03pm

Pregnancy is an exciting time for parents-to-be and their family and friends.

Pregnancy is an exciting time for parents-to-be and their family and friends. It’s also a time when you might have more questions than answers about how your baby is developing. In an effort to help you find the answers you are looking for, we have provided a link to one website we believe offers a clear and concise overview of the different stages of your baby’s development, week by week, trimester by trimester:  Pregnancy.org

As each week of your pregnancy unfolds, Pregnancy.org provides detailed descriptions and pictures of real embryos and fetuses to bring the experience of fetal development to life and help you better understand your baby’s growth.

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Pregnancy Discomforts

by Guest
Posted August 4 2010 01:02pm
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Being pregnant is an exciting time in your life. But, along with all of the joy and happiness you feel, you might also feel some discomforts or aches and pains. These aches and pains are common – a normal part of a healthy pregnancy. The good news is that there are things you both can do to make you feel more comfortable.

Keep a list of all your discomforts. You should then discuss this list with your healthcare provider. Dads may also notice some of these discomforts and should let you know so these can be added to the list. Don't hesitate to contact your healthcare provider between appointments if you are at all concerned about any physical discomforts you are having.

Worried that you might be bothering them or that they are too busy to listen to your issues? Don't worry – they’re used to it. They would rather have too much information than too little.

Pregnancy affects all of the systems in a woman's body. You may notice changes to your cardiovascular, digestive, nervous, respiratory, reproductive and urinary systems. With all of these changes taking place, it's no wonder you feel a few aches and pains!

Below, you will find a list of some of the most common concerns and discomforts expecting moms feel during pregnancy. Keep in mind, every woman's pregnancy is different; you may experience a few or many of these problems. But don't worry; there are steps a couple can take to make you more comfortable.

Remember, most of these aches and pains will disappear once your baby is born.

BRAXTON HICKS CONTRACTIONS

BACKACHE

BREAST CHANGES

CONSTIPATION

FATIGUE OR DIFFICULTY SLEEPING

GROIN PAIN

HEADACHE

HEARTBURN

HEMORRHOIDS

INCREASED URINATION (PEEING)  

INCREASED VAGINAL DISCHARGE

LIGHT-HEADEDNESS

NAUSEA AND VOMITING (MORNING SICKNESS)

MUSCLE CRAMPS

NASAL STUFFINESS, NOSEBLEEDS

QUICKENING

SKIN COLOUR CHANGES (CHLOASMA AND LINEA NIGRA)

STRETCH MARKS (STRIAE)

SWELLING (EDEMA)

VARICOSE VEINS

SHORTNESS OF BREATH   

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Constipation

by Guest
Posted August 9 2010 03:08pm
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If you have ever been constipated before, you know that it's not a pleasant feeling. Constipation is another word for hard, dry bowel movements. Unfortunately, changes that occur within a woman’s body during pregnancy can cause constipation. For example, changes in diet or eating habits during the first few months of pregnancy can cause this problem. Hormones can affect the stomach and bowel and also cause discomfort, as can prenatal vitamins. Later in your pregnancy, the weight of the uterus and baby may also add to this discomfort.

Here are some tips for you to follow that should offer you some relief from constipation:

  • Drink plenty of liquids, such as water, milk or juice. The recommended amount of fluid is six to eight glasses per day.
  • Drink warm water as soon as you get up, as this may help to stimulate the bowel.
  • Limit the amount of tea you drink—it contains tannins which may make this problem worse.
  • Eat foods that are high in fiber, such as fruits, vegetables, prune juice and bran. 
  • Add these to your diet gradually to avoid causing gas.
  • Exercise regularly by walking, swimming, etc.
  • Relax and take your time when going to the bathroom for bowel movements.
  • Consult with your healthcare provider before taking laxatives or medications.

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Pregnancy: How Do I Know What's Normal?

by Guest
Posted August 10 2010 12:09pm
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As you prepare to become a parent during pregnancy, remember it's normal to:

Experience Highs and Lows

  • Pregnancy can be an emotional high as well as an emotional low, and this is perfectly normal. You may be happy about the life growing inside, but you can also be overwhelmed by a sense of responsibility and concerned about the impact this new life will have on your existing life.
  • Pregnancy is a time of emotional and physical change so it's natural to feel overwhelmed with different kinds of emotions. If you are experiencing difficulty coping with your changing emotions or If you are experiencing more than two of the following symptoms or they are getting worse let your doctor or midwife know:
  • Changes in your appetite
  • Difficulty sleeping even when you have the opportunity to sleep.
  • Persistent worrying about the pregnancy or the developing baby
  • Feeling very sad for no apparent reason
  • Feeling exhausted all the time
  • Experiencing feelings of helplessness , hopelessness, guilt, failure or low self-esteem
  • Feeling isolated
  • Feelings of irritability and or not wanting the baby
  • Feeling anxious or on edge. or panicky
  • Mood swings all the time.
  • Obsessive thoughts, ideas or feelings or odd or frightening thoughts or ideas.
  • A feeling that you can't see things getting any better

Have Lots of Worries

  • It is normal to wonder whether you will be a good parent or whether your baby will be normal. Community resources are available to support new parents and help them develop their skills and confidence in parenting. All parents need help - don't be afraid to ask.
  • Discuss any worries you may have with someone you trust and feel comfortable with. This may be your doctor, nurse, midwife, partner, a friend or a member of your family.

Require Extra Emotional and Physical Support

  • During pregnancy it is natural to feel the need for extra support, both emotionally and physically.
  • It is normal to feel irritable and moody at times, while feeling thrilled at others.

To Help Yourself:

  • Eat well

    A healthy lifestyle that involves eating well (according to the recommended nutritional requirements for pregnant women), staying active, and obtaining regular medical care throughout pregnancy, will contribute to you and your baby's short and long term health.

  • Relax

    Make time for yourself on a daily basis. It is important that you give yourself time to rest, relax and enjoy your pregnancy.

  • Exercise

    Daily physical activity, such as walking, will help you reduce any stress you may be feeling and can help with your mood as well (make sure your doctor or midwife has approved all physical exercise).

  • Plan ahead

    Plan ahead as much as possible. This applies to your workplace and home. At work, organize things so you can leave your job with everything in order. At home, you may want to get your baby's things ready, or prepare an older sibling for the new arrival.

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