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Monthly Accounts for Mums TO BE

Monthly Accounts
Week 1 to 4 Week 5 to 8 Week 9 to 12 Week 13 to 16 Week 17 to 20
Week 21 to 24 Week 25 to 28 Week 29 to 32 Week 33 to 36 Week 37 to 40

Conception (Weeks 1 to 4)

Based on LMP (last menstrual period), pregnancies last about 280 days or 40 weeks. You may also calculate by adding 7 days to the date of your last period and subtract 3 months. This again gives you only the approximate date of delivery. For example, if your last period began on March 24th, your due date is January 1st. It is important to understand due dates only indicate, and not establish the exact birth date; 90% percent of the time, delivery happens the week before or the week after. Only 5% of first babies arrive on the projected due date.

First Month (Weeks 5 to 8)

It may not hit you right away that you are expecting. You will probably miss your period when you are 4 weeks along if you have a regular ovulation cycle, and not feel any differently. Some over-the-counter pregnancy tests are reliable but it is important to schedule an appointment to see an obstetrician as soon as you suspect being pregnant.

Other Notes

Symptoms may range from extra sensitive breasts, flu-like feeling, nausea & vomiting (morning sickness) frequent urination, heartburn, loss of appetite, fatigue, & some women have cramping as if getting ready to start their period.

Second Month (Weeks 9 to 12)

During your first doctor's visit you will undergo some tests.

  • Pap smear test is to check for cancerous or pre-cancerous cells of the cervix, baby's position in the womb and to determine if the uterus is big enough for baby passage during delivery
  • Blood sample will be taken to check for STDs including HIV, rubella antibody titers (immunity against the 3 day measles), Rh factor, complete blood count, diabetes & blood type. If you are found to be RH negative and have had any of the following: an Amniocentesis, Ectopic pregnancy, miscarriage, or abortion before, you will be given Rho GAM to prevent you from forming antibodies to Rh-positive blood.
  • Urine tests are conducted routinely at every visit to check for blood & sugar in the urine.
  • Your weight will be taken routinely at every visit to monitor and chart baby's growth.

Other Notes

  • Your dietat this point should allow a gain of a few pounds. Pregnancy will become apparent for some. It is important you remember that you are eating for two so cross out dieting for the time being. You will need an additional 300 to 800 calories a day. These extra calories provide energy for tissue growth in both you and the baby. Your baby is using your energy to create and store protein, fat and carbohydrates, and to provide energy for overall bodily functions.
  • Prenatal vitamins that contain recommended daily amounts of vitamins and minerals specially designed for pregnant women should be taken. They contain iron, folic acid, zinc. Blood volume increases by about 50 % and iron supplement is required to handle this change. Unfortunately iron can cause constipation, upset stomach, nausea and vomiting. It helps to take iron with a meal or before bedtime. Your iron count should lie between 12 & 15. Folic Acid is taken to prevent neural-tube defects including Spina Bifidae. Doctors recommend 4mg of folic acid a day, preferably one month before conceiving. Continue taking this amount through the first trimester as during this the period spine development takes place.

Third Month (Weeks 13 to 16)

Avoid tight fitting clothes as it restricts your breathing and limits amount of oxygen reaching the baby. If this is not your first child, changes happen sooner than the last time. Your skin and muscles stretch faster comparatively to accommodate the growing uterus and baby. Pregnancy is more obvious this time round. But this may not apply always. There are very few absolutes in pregnancy and each one is different.

During the doctor's visit

  • Results of your blood test & Pap Smear will be discussed especially if there were any problems. You will be advised if you require prenatel tests like AFP screening & Amniocentesis along with genetic counseling.
  • Your weight and iron count will be checked.
  • You will probably hear the baby's heartbeat for the first time using a doppler.

Moles and skin tags are common during pregnancy. Venereal warts form around the birth canal, the vagina, or near the rectum. If they feel lumpy, change in structure or size you need to address the issue with your doctor.

Forth Month (Weeks 17 to 20)

Stretch marks on your abdomen, hips, buttocks, or breasts start to appear. They may fade to skin color but they rarely disappear entirely. There is no known preventive measure but moisturizing these areas with a vitamin E cream does help to some extent. Avoid steroid creams to treat them. These creams are absorbed into the skin and can affect the fetus. Itching is a common symptom due to the stretched skin but it does not harm you or the fetus. Your breasts may leak a yellowish fluid called colostrum, which is the forerunner to breast milk. Your breasts have probably grown larger and the area around the areola has darkened.

A thick whitish yellow vaginal discharge or an increase in discharge is normal and is probably caused by increased blood flow in the vaginal area. It is also common to see a bluish coloration on the vaginal area. You may experience round-ligament pain, which is caused by the growing uterus. It is not harmful to you or the fetus but it does cause you some pain and discomfort. At this doctor's visit your baby's heartbeat can be heard with a stethoscope. Any tests including an AFP Screening, Triple Screen Test, Amniocentesis will be carried out now if you have decided to have them. An Ultrasound is done at this time to give an accurate due date and inform you on the sex of the baby.

Fifth Month (Weeks 21 to 24)

A gain of 12 to 15 lbs makes you look unmistakably pregnant. Your legs tend to swell especially if you are on your feet most of the day. It is important to get off your feet and elevate them to bring the swelling down. At this doctor's visit the baby's heartbeat will be checked. The normal fetal heartbeat reads at 120 to 160 beats a minute. Your doctor may measure you from the pubic bone to the top of the uterus to monitor fetus growth.

Other Notes

Exercising & Sexual relations can be continued as long as it is comfortable for you unless you have been advised differently. Remember that your extra weight and your protruding belly will interfere with activities that you normally do. Swimming and walking are safe exercises to do and help stretch those muscles you will use during labor and delivery. Now is the time to start doing Kegel Exercises.

There is a theory on Cravings being caused by iron deficiency. Ensure the right dose is taken daily to help reduce or prevent cravings. Check with your doctor on this.

Sixth Month (Weeks 25 to 28)

Discomforts associated with pregnancy kick in now. To relieve back pain try not to walk with your belly sticking way out in front of you as this puts more pressure on your back. Try to walk with your head and shoulders leading the way. Leg cramps and headaches will also occur more frequently. Drinking plenty of fluids will help alleviate the cramping. Moderating the amount of juice you drink would be a good idea at this time. During pregnancy sugar level rises. Sugar in the urine is called Glucosuria, which commonly occurs during the last two trimesters. It can trigger Gestational Diabetes. Your kidneys control the amount of sugar in your system, therefore any excess will be lost through urine. At this doctors visit you will probably be tested for gestational diabetes. There are two tests that can be done i.e. fasting blood sugar test and/or glucose tolerance test. At 28 weeks you will be given Rho GAM to protect you.

Other Notes

Warning Signs: If you experience any of these symptoms please contact your doctor or health care provider.

  • Bleeding or leaking from vagina
  • Cramps that are strong
  • A lasting backache or bellyache
  • Excessive vomiting or diarrhea
  • A fever above 100 F
  • Prolonged headache
  • Blurred vision or spots in front of your eyes
  • Pain or burning when you urinate
  • Puffy face, fingers, and feet
  • Your baby is moving less than usual

Seventh Month (Weeks 29 to 32)

A gain of 19 - 25 lbs is estimated during this phase. The average weight & size of baby is 2.7 lbs and 16.7 inches in length. The baby will more than double his size between 30 and 40 weeks. At this doctors visit you will be checked for swelling, hypertension, pregnancy induced high blood pressure, sugar if it was high last time you had urine test. You might be given a pap to check for dilation or effacement. Some doctors will have you start coming every 3 weeks now.

Other Notes

You can count your baby's movements after 32 weeks. Some doctors will in fact suggest this to you. It is not possible earlier as the baby is too little. Some babies are very active while some don't move much. Some babies slow down in movements in the last weeks, as there is not enough room in the uterus. If you notice any peculiarities in movements like too much or too little or not at all, consult your doctor. They will usually want to check the heart beat. One way of counting your baby's movement is to record them in a 12hour period e.g. from 8am to 8pm. Note down the number of times your baby moves. If you have counted 10 movements you can stop and resume the next day. If it is less than 10 movements in a 12hour period, consult your doctor right away.

Eight Month (Weeks 33 to 36)

Your weight gain should be between 22 and 28 lbs and baby's weight & size is about 4.4 lbs and about 19 inches long. At 32 weeks your doctor visits are more frequent at every two weeks. Things are changing rapidly, the baby's weight is increasing and your hormones are going into overdrive. Your doctor will probably start checking your dilation and effacement so that if things are going too fast, it can be arrested. The baby is pressing on your bladder causing water to leak. If you just feel the wetness when you move too quickly, bend down, or sit, your bladder is the cause. If you are unsure and are concerned call your doctor. During this time you may notice the baby is lower or has dropped. Some babies drop early while others will wait until the last minute. The baby's development is almost complete; all the organs are formed except for the lungs, which are not yet mature. Now the baby is gaining weight rapidly and reflexes are forming that will help the baby with its survival instincts.

Other Notes

You may feel false labor contractions called Braxton-Hicks contractions. These will continue up until the baby is born. In a way they help prepare you for the real thing and also with blood circulation. The best way to find out if it is true labor is to go for a walk. If after 5 minutes you are still having contractions lie down on your left side. A change in what you are doing will usually stop them. If you have time to take a shower, put on your makeup and get dressed real nice you cannot be in labor. Time your contractions for 30 minutes. Start from the first pain through the contraction until the beginning of the next pain. Contractions occurring every 10 minutes or more often, may mean you are in true labor. Inform your doctor/hospital right away

Nine Month (Weeks 37 to 40)

Your doctor visits are now weekly. If you crave for bleach, soap or other chemicals you need to talk to your doctor. You may notice some spotting which is most likely your mucus plug, a secretion in your cervix, also called bloody show. Usually the first sign that you are getting ready for labor. It is possible to lose your plug 4 weeks before the baby is born. In the last month of pregnancy the baby's weight gain slows down to about a half a pound a week. The mother may go through water retention and swelling of feet and fingers. By now the mother will have gained somewhere around 30 lbs. It is advisable to go easy on salt. Salt causes you to retain water and swell. Rest as much as you can now. You will not get the chance after the baby arrives. It will be a bonus for you if you can arrange help when you & baby come home, although the sooner you settle into your routine the better it will be in the long run.

  • Plan ahead by ensuring you have the basics kept aside before baby comes home.
  • Clothes or disposal diapers to fit a newborn, baby wipes, diaper rash cream
  • Cotton shirts and gowns, baby blankets
  • Wash clothes, body lotion, body wash, baby shampoo
  • Nursing bras and pads if you are breast feeding
  • Bottles and formula if you are bottle-feeding
  • Cot or bassinet for baby to lie on
  • An approved infant car seat

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Disclaimer: Information contained on this Web site is intended solely to make available general summarized information to the public. It should not be substituted for medical advice. It is your responsibility to consult with your pediatrician and/or health care provider before acting on any advice on this web site. While OEM endeavors to provide up-to-date and accurate information, it is not liable for any advice whatsoever rendered nor is it liable for the completeness or timeliness of any information on this site.
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