Pregnancy same as gestation, occurs at the time during which one or more offspring develops in a woman.
Multiple pregnancies usually occurs when more offspring’s are formed, a typical example is usually in the case of twins.
Pregnancy occurs by means of sexual intercourse or via an advanced reproductive techniques known as artificial insemination or invitro fertilization.
This usually last for about 40 weeks starting from the last menstrual cycle and ends in childbirth.
Signs and Symptoms of early pregnancy might include a missed menstrual periods,vomiting, often urination, tender breast and nausea.
To be very sure if you are pregnant or not you need to carry out a pregnancy test.
Pregnancy is basically categorized into three major stages, which are the 1st, 2nd and 3rd trimesters.The first trimesters usually begins from week one to week twelve in addition to conception.
Conception usually occurs after the fertilized egg had moved to the Fallopian tube thereby attaching itself to the Fallopian tube, at this point it begins to develop the fetus and placenta.
Its important to note that the first trimester is basically the stage where miscarriages can occur as this stage has the greatest risk of loosing the baby.
The 2nd trimesters starts from week 13 and ends in week 28. As the 3rd trimesters begins from week 29 and ends in week 40.
However, its important you engage in prenatal care as this helps to improve your pregnancy results.During this period its very important to add folic acid to your nutrition or meals as this helps to improving the developmental stages of your baby.
Try to avoid all manners of drugs or alcohol and engage in physical workouts or exercises as this helps for easy delivery.
Pregnancy complications includes gestational diabetes, high blood pressure, severe nausea, severe vomiting and anemia.
Pregnancy Signs & Symptoms
Pregnancy takes about 40 weeks for normal development and its basically categorized into 3 stages called 1st, 2nd, and 3rd trimesters.
Some symptoms of early pregnancy are as follows; breast changes, loss of menstrual periods, mood swings, nausea, and tiredness.
Its important to carry out pregnancy tests and this is usually confirmed by the detection of the human chorionic gonadotropin hormone in the urine or blood.
Symptoms of late pregnancy includes swelling of the ankles or fingers, mild contractions, heartburn, hemorrhoids and difficulty in sleeping.
Its also important to note that, at the end of the week 37 the baby is said to have fully developed its organs and can be prepared to function on its own.
As you reach your due period of delivery, your baby may turn into a head- down position for birth.Generally, most babies usually “position” in head down.
Pregnancy signs and symptoms are primarily those factors that results from pregnancy but are not considered to be affected by the daily activities of the health of the mother or baby.
This is basically different from pregnancy complications.
Below are some of the common symptoms and signs of pregnancy.
- Braxton Hicks contractions
- Back pain
- Frequent Urination(gravida)
- Varicose veins
Positive pregnancy tests basically confirms if you are pregnant or not.
However, answers are provided below to some of the most common concerns about pregnancy tests.
What is a pregnancy test and how it works?
Pregnancy tests are carried out to investigate if your urine or blood contains the human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) hormone.
This hormone is produced as a result of a fertilized egg attached to the wall of the uterus.
This detection occurs not untill six days after fertilization. If you’re pregnant,the levels of HCG will definitely rise rapidly and this confirms a positive test results.
What Types of Pregnancy Tests Are Accessible?
The major types of pregnancy tests done for pregnant women are the urine and blood test.
However, the urine test can be done right in your home or in a doctors office.
Majority of ladies prefer to carry out a home pregnancy test and this uausally occurs about 7 days after they had missed their menstrual period.
This type of pregnancy test is usually confidential and convenient as well.Now to get better results you have to abide by instructions and guidelines.
Blood tests are usually carried out in the lab or doctors office,but this is rarely done than the urine tests.The blood test detects pregnancy at the early stage than the urine test.
Two types of blood pregnancy tests are accessible
The HCG test is done to detect if there is present of human chorionic gonadotropin hormone.
This usually gives a POSITIVE or NEGATIVE answer to the question, Am i pregnant? Physicians usually carry out this test to confirm if you are pregnant after a missed menstrual period.
A HCG test confirms the amount of HCG in the blood.However, this kind of test can also measure a low amount of HCG in the blood and hence can be further used to detect pregnancy issues or complications.
It can also be used for an ectopic pregnancy as well as monitor a woman that has had miscarriage following the fall in the level of HCG.
How accurate are pregnancy tests?
For you to get an accurate pregnancy test results, its always recommended to wait for about a week after a missed menstrual period before carrying out a pregnancy test.
Test results will be more accurate if you consider carrying out the tests first thing in the morning.
It has been researched that first morning urine are more concentrated, and carrying out this test gives one about 99% accuracy.
Although blood test results are much more accurate.
Accuracy of urine test is dependent upon the following:
- How accurate you follow instructions.
- How fast after pregnancy you carry out the test.
- Ovulating in your cycle and how quick implantation process occurs..
What do the pregnancy test results mean?
Now its always vital to know what the positive(+) or negative(-) results signifies.
However, a (+) results indicates that you are pregnant whereas a negative (-) results indicates you aren’t pregnant.
for positive results its always true, irrespective of how faint the line,color or signs are.
At this stage you might want to seek your doctor to know exactly what next of action to take.
For a negative result,there might be blood or proteins present in your urine.Also some certain types of drugs like the tranquilizer and anti- convulsants present in your urine may confirm a (-) result.
What if you get two different results?
In situations where you get two different results, at this point its advisable you contact your doctor fast. A blood test is the best test to confirm this results.
Pregnancy Stages (Maternal Changes From Week 1 to 40)
Throughout pregnancy there are basically different physiological modifications or changes that pregnant women undergoes.
These physiological changes are metabolic, respiratory, hematologic,cardiovascular etc and they are said to be normal in the occurrence of complications.
However, the body tend to change in response to its physiological and homeostatic mechanisms during pregnancy thereby providing the fetus with the required nutrients.
Cardiac output and increase in blood sugar are all essential for the development of the fetus.
What happens in the First Trimester (week 1-week 12)?
In the first trimester your body is prone to undergo various changes. However, one of these changes are hormonal changes which affects almost all the organs in your body.
Its important to know that all theses body modifications are all normal and would trigger some signs and symptoms at the end phase of the first trimester of your pregnancy.
At this point, you will discover that your period definitely stops which is a clear sign that you are pregnant.Below are some other body changes you may observe.
- Mood Swings
- Weight gain or loss
- Intense Tiredness
- Swollen breast(tender)
- Morning Sickness
Note that as your body undergoes changes, its recommended that you make adjustments to your daily routines like taking little meals, getting early to bed,eating often etc.
It is interesting that most of this pregnancy signs and discomforts will definitely disappear as your pregnancy advances.Although this might be different for mothers, who had given birth before.
What Happen in the second trimester (week 13-week 28)?
Almost all women notice that their second trimester are much easier than the first trimester.
One may discover that some signs like nausea and tiredness are almost disappearing.
But some other new body changes may start showing up at this point.its quite obvious that your abdomen will start expanding as your baby develops or advances.
At the end or terminal point of your 2nd trimester,you will start feeling the movement of your baby.
As your body changes,this will further create room for your developing baby.Below are some body changes to observe at this stage of your second trimester.
- Body pains like back, abdomen,groin etc
- Darkening of the skin around your nipples
- Numb(carpal tunnel syndrome)
- Stretch marks on your abdomen,buttocks and breasts
- Swelling of the ankles, fingers and face.
Now in situations where you detect a sudden swelling or a rapid weight gain (preeclampsia), at this point you need to contact your doctor for proper examination.
What is the third trimester (week 29-week 40)?
At this stage of your pregnancy, you are bound to experience some of the signs and symptoms of pregnancy.
Many expectant women at this point would find breathing difficulty and would need to visit the rest room as often as possible.
This is so, because the baby is growing bigger and imposing pressure on your organs.
These symptoms are all normal and wold lessen when you deliver.
Below are some of the body changes you might observe.
- Swelling of the ankles, fingers and face.
- Tender breasts this might start leaking a watery pre-milk called colostrum.
- Tough sleep.
- shortness of breath.
- The baby dropping or moving lower in the abdomen.
- Contractions meaning a sign of genuine or false labor.
Your cervix becomes thinner and softer, a process called effacing, it important at this point to note that its normal and it will definitely aid the vaginal canal to open for fast delivery.
Complications Of Pregnancy
Below are some of the complications of pregnancy.
- Ectopic pregnancy, a process where the embryo implants itself on the outside of the uterus.
- Postpartum Psychosis
- Postpartum depression
- Pregnancy Induced hypertension
- Hyperemesis gravidarum,also known as excessive nausea and this is much more severe than morning sickness
- Thromboembolic Disorders a major cause of death in pregnant women in the US.
Diseases Associated With Pregnancy
There are diseases that are associated with pregnancy, they tend to surface in pregnant women as intercurrent diseases, these diseases are not directly transmitted by pregnancy and they definitely poss risk to the pregnancy.
Listed below are some of these diseases.
Systemic Lupus Erythematosus
This tends to increase fetal death and brings about spontaneous miscarriage as well as neonatal lupus.
This type of disorders is called gestational diabetes which involves the pregnancy reactions with diabetes mellitus.
It further poss high risks for the baby.It also leads to other disorders like fetal death (macrosomia),birth defects, growth acceleration,growth restriction as well as miscarriages.
in pregnancy can occur if not corrected, as it tends to cause adverse effects on both the well being of the mom and the baby as well.
This dangerous effects of thyroid dysfunction goes beyond delivery and pregnancy as it tends to affect the neurological part of the baby at early life.
Pregnancy Diet ( Foods To Avoid During Pregnancy)
For healthy pregnancy, all you need is a well balanced diet plan.
It has been recommended to observe a well healthy balance diet by ensuring you balance your meals with carbohydrates, fat, proteins in addition to taking variety of fruits and vegetables for a great nutrition.
It is imperative to take adequate peri-conceptional folic acid as this helps to reduce the rate of neural tube defects called the spina bifida a well known severe birth defect.
Folate is rich in spinach found in green leafy vegetables such as broccoli, beets, salads citrus fruits and melons.In the western world,most wheat products are usually enriched with folic acid.
It has been recommended that women should consume adequate amounts of dihydroxy acetic acid (Omega-3 fatty acid) through pregnancy as this fat component helps in the well- being of the nursing mom as well as her baby.
DHA is a basic structural fatty acid primarily found in the brain,retina as well as in breast milk.
Since the developing infant can’t produce DHA efficiently, it is therefore recommended for expecting women to take adequate nutrients containing DHA in order to supply this nutrient via the placenta during pregnancy and through breast feeding after delivery.
So many micro nutrients are important for the health of the developing baby, specifically in some part of the world where insufficient nutrition is prevalent.
These micro nutrients has been found to lower the risk of low birth weight, mortality in new born as well as other related disorders in developing countries.
However, in advanced countries of the world like in western Europe and the United States,specific nutrients like the vitamin D and calcium are basically needed for the formation of bone.
Some bacteria and parasites like Listeria and Toxoplasma gondii contaminates the foods we cook.
However, caution should be taking by observing proper washing of fruits and raw vegetables before cooking in order to get rid of pathogens and germs.
Always observe proper cooking of meats and processed meat as well.
Pregnant women are prone to infections like Salmonella diseases from eggs and poultry hence this should be thoroughly cooked for great hygiene .
Is Having Excessive Sex Good During Pregnancy?
Yes, many women love sex, true or false? Most expectant women basically engage in sexual activities throughout pregnancy.
Research has shown that during pregnancy both sexual urge and sexual intercourse reduces.In contrary to this, some studies indicate an increase in sexual urge during the second trimester with a decline rate during the third trimester.
However,sexual intercourse during pregnancy has a low risk with the exception that your doctor advice’s that sex be avoided for some special medical reasons.
Otherwise,for an healthy pregnant woman, there is no secure way to engage in sex during pregnancy, again its really advisable for both partners to avoid excessive sexual intercourse in order to reduce the rate of pressure or stress being impacted on the uterus as well as the abdomen.
Things To Avoid During Pregnancy
It’s important to note that using recreational drugs during pregnancy can lead to pregnancy complications.Listed below are some of the drugs to avoid during pregnancy
This can lead to fatal alcohol syndrome as well as fetal alcohol spectrum disorder.
- Tobacco smoking
Smoking while pregnant bring about placental abruption as well as placenta previa.
- Prenatal Cocaine
This can being about premature birth as well as birth defects.
- Prenatal methamphetamine
This can lead to congenital abnormalities and as well triggers premature birth.