How that you have found out that you're expecting, what is there to expect?
For first time mothers, finding out that you're pregnant can be very daunting, many questions go through your head at once, "What are the right foods to eat?" "Can I exercise whilst pregnant?" Don't panic! Right now is the best possible time to start making healthy choices for you and your developing baby. You may not feel pregnant now but as the hormones increases you will start to feel changes in your body.
Eating healthy is the most important part of your routine for keeping you and your baby healthy, here are a list of foods and drinks that may harm your developing baby and some you may need to cut down on:
- Cheese, Normal cheddar cheese is completely fine to eat during pregnancy, but only in moderation. But cheese such as goat,soft or Gorgonzola can be harmful, this is because that they contain a bacteria that can cause a bad bug which can travel to the fetus and cause developing problems.
- Eggs, Raw or undercooked eggs are a big no-no! This is because your immune system weakens during pregnancy and this can result in Salmonella. Also try to avoid foods which have raw or undercooked eggs in them such as mayonnaise.
- Caffeine, It's advised to keep a daily limit to 200mg of coffee per day, this is because your body can absorb huge amounts of caffeine and can send it to your baby, this is dangerous because caffeine has a chemical that can stop a baby's development.
You may be thinking, "What can I do to give my baby the best start?" Here I have listed a few suggestions to help you give your baby the best chance of survival.
- Stop smoking, Smoking during pregnancy can increase the chances of your baby being a low weight, some of which can be long-term. Smoking during pregnancy can also heighten the chances of:
* Cot death
* Ectopic pregnancy
* Placenta abruption (When the placenta comes away from the uterus wall)
* Vaginal bleeding
* Cleft lip/Palate
Smoking during pregnancy can also harm the baby's mental development, which in turn can have a short attention span and become hyperactive.
- Taking prenatal vitamins, These are essential for your baby's development, they contain the correct amount of nutrients and vitamins to help your baby grow.
Making the first doctor's appointment.
Typically when you're around 6-8 weeks pregnant you should book an appointment to see your local GP. They will offer you a free pregnancy test to make sure that you are really pregnant, after that they will then give you leaflets about information about your pregnancy and what to expect. Also they will book you in to arrange your midwife for the next 8-9 months. She will arrange all the scans and guide you through on what to expect. If you are unhappy with your midwife then there is always the choice of changing, but make sure that you change before week 24.
What aches and pains are normal during pregnancy?
During the first couple of weeks you may experience discomfort, this is because your body is stretching and trying to make room for your developing baby. These can be worrying for new mothers because they think of pain as something wrong or having a miscarriage. Remember if you have any concerns it is advised that you talk to your midwife so she can advise you properly. Below are a list of common aches and pains during pregnancy.
- Cramps. Cramping during pregnancy is normal, this is because your uterus is stretching and making room for your baby to grow, women would describe these as period type cramps and can vary from mild to severe cramping. (If you experience any bleeding while this is happening you need to go to A&E as this may be a miscarriage)
- Morning sickness, Morning sickness just doesn't happen during the morning, it can happen at any given time, again this can vary on severity, some are only sick once, others constantly. You may have it for a couple of week or you may have it throughout your pregnancy.
- Vaginal spotting, Vaginal spotting is normal during the first few weeks of pregnancy, this is because that the egg is implanting itself to the wall so it can grow, however, if you have any clots or heavy bleeding you must see a doctor straight away as this can be a sign that something is wrong.
Your first scan!
The first scan can be a very emotional time, seeing your baby on the screen and watching the heart pumping away, but this is the most important scan now, this will determine how far along you are in your pregnancy and to check if everything has settled well. The dating scan usually takes around 10 minutes and can be done over your belly, however, if there is nothing to be seen there is no need to worry, sometimes fluid can build up so the midwife will have to do a vaginal scan.
Right now at 11-13 weeks your little bean is around 1.6 inches long (the size of a small lime) and weighs at 0.25oz. In this stage your baby's organs are starting to develop and blood is pumping to them.
Remember that if you have had miscarriages in the past they may offer you an early scan, some as early as 6 weeks.
Week 18 - is it a boy or a girl?
This is the most exciting week of all, getting to know the sex of your baby! All this time you have wondered and now is the time you're finally going to know. Sometimes they can detect the sex of the baby as early as 16 weeks but it all depends on which place the baby is laying. By now you're getting your appetite back! (Which is good news to some) At this stage your body needs an extra 300 calories to help your baby develop even further. At week 18 your baby's bones are starting to harden and hear, yes your baby can hear your heart beat at this stage! Even the rumbling sounds of your belly.
By now your baby is 5.6 inches (around the size of a sweet potato) and weighs at around 6.7oz. But watch out! He or she will have a lot more growing to do from now on!
Congratulations! You are now half way through your pregnancy. By now you can feel your baby move around and respond to sounds. You also may have noticed you have gained a little weight recently, but don't worry this is because the fat will help your baby reach its healthy weight. By now your baby's skin will be covered with a waxy type substance, this will protect the skin from getting dry and irritated.
Within the space of 4 weeks your baby has grown dramatically! It is 6.5 inches and weighs 10.6oz!
Be sure to drink plenty of water because at this stage your body can become dehydrated and it will help the blood flow reach your baby better.
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