Pregnancy is a wonderful thing where the body has the ability to create an offspring.
One or more offspring will be carried within the Uterus of a female.
It can go very smoothly or can be a very complicated with a poor outcome.
Often, being closely monitored during the process by a Licensed Medical Provider, greatly improves the chances for success.
Despite all the medical advancements, miscarriages and many other problems can be seen.
- Conception begins with the fertilization of an egg by a sperm.
- The fetus or embryo will start from conception and continue to develop over time.
- It often will attach in the Uterus and soon a Placenta is formed.
- When childbirth occurs, it is typically between 37 and 42 weeks from conception.
- Any variation is abnormal but not always detrimental to the success of the child
- As medical advancement in childbirth continues – success is more likely and becomes more common.
- However, the goal is for a term pregnancy in most cases.
- Also referred to as conception
- Occurs when the ovum (or egg) from a female and a sperm from a male become combined.
- Also occurs in plants, bacteria, and other organism in separate manners
- When conception occurs than an embryo is formed
- Depending on organism fertilization can be internal or external
- Pregnancy occurs typically for 37 – 42 weeks
- Often calculation of pregnancy usually begins by looking back on a women’s last menstrual period
- “At term” – means when 37 weeks has passed in the pregnancy but is less then 42 weeks
- “Preterm” – means less then 37 weeks of pregnancy
- “Postterm” – means more then 42 weeks of pregnancy
- 5% of births are on the due date
- 50% of births are within the week of the due date
- 90% of births are within two weeks of the due date
- “Induced labor” – a decision made depending on circumstance and the length of pregnancy
- Craving for certain foods
- Weight gain
- Enlarging stomach
- Swelling in legs
- Decreased appetite
- Depression (in some cases)
- Increased Emotions
- hCG or human chorionic gonadotropin
- Missed menstrual period
- Increased basal temperature
- Home pregnancy test with urine
. Usually is not accurate until 12 days from conception
3 significant time periods
1.) 1st Trimester
- Weeks 1 – 13
- Minimal bleeding at implantation into the uterus is not uncommon
- Cramping is often present
- Placenta growth is initiated
- Growth of umbilical cord connecting the embryo with the placenta
- Morning Sickness seen in 75%
- Nipples will darken
- Most miscarriages occur in the 1st trimester
2.) 2nd Trimester
- Weeks 11 – 26
- Months 4-6
- Increased energy can occur
- Fetus begins moving
- Fetus extremities and organs begin to become recognizable
- Male and female distinction can be seen
3.) 3rd Trimester
- Weeks 27 – Childbirth
- The largest amount of weight gain occurs during this period
- Women’s belly drops due to positioning of fetus
- Continued fetus movement
- Women’s naval may be pushed outward
- Very uncomfortable for women
- Increased urine frequency
- If premature childbirth during this period – survival is possible
Hormonal changes during pregnancy
- Progesterone and Estrogen levels will rise during pregnancy
- Prolactin levels will increase from Pituitary gland
- Placental production of hormones increase as pregnancy advances
- Gestational diabetes Gestational Diabetes is a risk for those who develops insulin resistance
Weight gain during pregnancy
- This is the most noticeable change in pregnancy
- Uterus, placenta, and fetus are all progressively enlarging
- Water retention and additional fat also play a part
- In the United States – recommended weight gain is 25 lbs – 40 lbs depending on weight
- An overweight women should gain less while an underweight should gain more
- Variation of weight gain has been 5 lbs to 100+ lbs
- Maintenance of exercise or beginning an exercise program are very beneficial while pregnant.
- Exercise can improve health and decrease risk for stress, back pain, fatigue, and overall feeling of discomfort
- This is not a “weight-loss program” but a “health program“
- The level of which you exercised prior to pregnancy may need to change
- Vigorous exercise may be harmful
- If you never have been apart of a program please consult your medical provider but this often will not prevent you from exercising.
- Increased blood volume
- Increased heart rate
- Change in blood pressure
- Increased nutrition is required
- Possible hormone changes and insulin resistance which can lead to gestational diabetes
- A well-balanced nutritional plan is essential for those planning to become pregnant and for those who are currently pregnant
- Proper eating habits are beneficial for the health of the women preparing or pregnant and as importantly the health for your child
- Several nutrients and food groups should be properly consumed
- Several other foods should be avoided such as caffeine, raw meats and fish, raw eggs, and other such foods
- Several drugs are completely contraindicated while pregnant
- Other drugs are concerning even while attempting or of child bearing age.
- Drug use during pregnancy may be possible with certain drugs
- Classification of drugs can be divided into A,B,C,D and X
- The drugs not to be used during pregnancy are X, D, and often C
- Any drug used during the embryo stages that has a permanent harmful effect is termed teratogen
Sexual intercourse during pregnancy
- Most women while pregnant can enjoy sexual intercourse.
- Often frequency and desire decrease in most situations.
This is not encompassing of all women – a good amount of women indicate a greater amount of satisfaction while pregnant.
- Medical concern is usually not seen during pregnancy however, rarely complications many be seen in a small population – typically in those with additional medical concerns in addition to the pregnancy.
- The fetus is protected during intercourse by the women’s cervix
- Following childbirth the average wait is 6 weeks but intercourse may resume once both couples are comfortable.
Gravid – Pregnancy
Nulligravida – A women who has never been pregnant
Multigravida – A women who has been pregnant one or more times
Multiparous – Subsequent pregnancies
Embyro – development of offspring from concerption through the first 8 weeks
Fetus – starts from 2 month until birth