Being pregnant during summer is no walk in the park, especially if you live in some of the hottest states. Besides the heat and humidity, an increase in the progesterone hormone during your first trimester also increases body temperature.
Here are all the must-haves, must-knows, and must-dos to help prevent overheating and mood swings.
By the way, this post contains affiliate links at no extra cost to you. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.
Summer Pregnancy Must-Haves
Think about a summer pregnancy like it is a camping trip. You need a well-planned kit to safely get through the experience. No matter how excited you are, there will be some rough parts that need preparation in advance.
The first item you need to add to your pregnancy kit to make those hot months a little more bearable is sunscreen.
Grab nothing less than SPF 30 off the shelf, and make sure it does not contain Oxybenzone.
Oxybenzone is a risky endocrine-disrupting chemical in sunscreens that can mimic hormones to cause endometriosis. It can also lead to a birth defect called Hirschsprung’s disease, which adversely affects an infant’s development, neurological, immune, and reproductive symptoms.
Always spring for sunscreen and sprays without Oxybenzone. Even 6% of this chemical during your first trimester can get absorbed into your bloodstream and harmfully reach the fetus. So this is very important!!
Another item you should buy is an all-natural bug spray. When you are pregnant, you need to protect yourself from all the itchy bites and keep your baby safe from any potential diseases like the Zika pregnancy scare.
You will also need a handheld fan ( for real, ladies you NEED that ), a sun
For better sleep, invest in inexpensive silk pillowcases to avoid waking up to flip your pillows during the night.
Finally, you will drink a lot more water during your pregnancy and always keep a water bottle close.
During summer, many pregnant women wonder whether it is safe to go for a swim. Unless your doctor has advised against swimming, it is perfectly safe for you and the baby.
Swimming is one of the healthiest exercises during pregnancy to maintain your usual fitness level. Assuming you do a few breaststrokes instead of competitive laps as though you are training for the Olympics. You never want to overdue it obviously.
Most women in their third trimester enjoy swimming because it helps them feel weightless.
Chlorine is safe during pregnancy but only in moderation. Avoid swimming or floating in a chlorinated pool for several hours, and spend more time lounging near the water or only dip your feet to feel refreshed.
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists states that hot tubs are dangerous for pregnant women during summer ( or anytime while pregnant ) because it raises a mother’s body temperature to an unsafe level for unborn babies.
Unfortunately, during my very first pregnancy, I got in a hot tub before I knew I was expecting. I did have a miscarriage soon after I found out I was pregnant and it was devastating. So always be aware even if you’re trying and you’re not sure yet. It could mean everything.
Generally, steaming hot water should be shunned altogether, even while having a shower. If you want to take a sunset stroll down by the beach, make sure to take a friend or partner with you in case you become injured or ill.
There should always be someone by your side to respond quickly in an emergency.
Carry a fully charged phone with you to stay in touch with family members and your doctor, and do not exhaust yourself walking around with too many shopping bags during summer sales.
There will be plenty of time to do a lot of heavy lifting with diapers, milk, and snacks after the child is born if you are eager for a challenge.
No matter how restless you feel after getting out of bed, avoid physical activities in direct sunlight.
It is best to schedule all your workouts early in the morning or after sunset to prevent exposure to the scorching heat.
You should also stay hydrated all day with up to 10 glasses of water and more if you exercise.
If you need to spend most of your time outdoors, you should drink low-sugar electrolyte fluids. Or low sodium V8. That’s an even healthier choice and it’s delicious.
Many mothers feel restless while pregnant, but there are many fun activities you can do.
Take a relaxing stroll with your partner or best friend while choosing baby names and click some magnificent sunset selfies together.
Drink tons of smoothies because they are so refreshing and will replenish your daily fruit requirement.
The best ingredients to use are Greek yogurt and frozen fruits that you can blend perfectly. Minigolf is another exciting activity that does not need you to exert yourself.
There are also indoor minigolf courses with plenty of shade and air conditioning where you can treat yourself to a delicious non-alcoholic cold beverage after a game.
Finally, summer is a great time to wear a loose and stunning outfit for a date night to feel beautiful again.
This is necessary because women sometimes feel huge and forget that they can still look gorgeous while heavily pregnant.
A date with loved ones is an exceptional opportunity to get out of the house for a while when it is not too hot.
Splurge on a nice dinner and treat yourself if you are bored of sitting on the couch binging on Netflix.
This will be worthwhile because once the baby is born, you may not get much free time without a newborn always by your side crying into the night for many summers.
In the end…..
The point of all this is to stay safe and happy during the summer months while pregnant. If you follow the rules above you’ll have a lovely summer pregnancy.
We wish you all the best and good luck to you, mama!
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How to Pinpoint Ovulation for a Faster Pregnancy
Track Your Periods
Is your menstruation cycle regular? And how many days have gone by between each period?
This is the essential information and the first step that everything depends on. If you are unsure whether your periods are regular and how long each cycle is, you should start the tracking process.
The first day you begin bleeding should be recorded as “Day One” until you get your next period.
This should be done for approximately three or four months if you want to accurately measure how long and regular your cycle is.
The average menstrual cycle should be 28 days long, but even 23 and 35 days in length are standard.
The number of days varies each month, so there is no need to be alarmed if you do not consistently record the same.
A good way to keep a record of your cycle is through the Clue App. I’ve used it for years and it’s extremely useful. It has helped me learn so much about my cycles and body.
Calculate Your Ovulation Days
Successful conception depends on having sex within a small window of time.
During this short period (pun intended), a ripened egg gets released from one of the ovaries and moves into your fallopian tube.
A really good way to begin identifying these days is with an ovulation kit. These kits are a bit like a pregnancy test. You just pee on a stick and it will tell you when certain hormones are at their peak indicating ovulation.
They are very useful when you want to get pregnant as quickly as possible.
Below are some things you need to observe if you want to get an idea of when you ovulate and what’s going on with your cycle.
If your menstrual cycles are consistently regular, you can determine your ovulation days with simple mathematics. In the average cycle, your ovulation will occur 14 days before your period arrives. This can also be on day 14 of your 28-day cycle. Then you need to subtract 14 days from the length of your cycle. This should provide a brief guideline of when you are ovulating. For instance, if you have regular 30-day menstrual cycles, you will most likely ovulate around day 16. If your periods last for 26 days, you should be ovulating on day 12.
For those who experience irregular menstrual cycles, there are additional steps to determining an accurate ovulation picture. The most common technique is tracking your temperature. The best way to know if ovulation has occurred is when your regular or basal body temperature slightly increases. This thermal shift can be detected with daily temperature checks in the mornings and at night before going to bed. By doing this, you can witness a pattern to help predict when your exact ovulation days are. Usually, your temperature can increase up to half a degree around 24 to 48 hours after ovulation. A basal body temperature thermometer may be more effective than using a regular one. This way, you can see the time your basal body temperature rises to know how short your conception window is, especially when sperm is waiting in the fallopian tube for the egg’s release.
Another option is to use an ovulation prediction kit, as I mentioned before. This is more costly than doing temperature checks, but you can track your ovulation dates and times very accurately. You can find these in any regular drugstores, and they measure levels of luteinizing hormone in your urine. Therefore, you will need to take a urine test on a tester stick. When your luteinizing hormone levels go up, this is when your ovaries are ready to release the egg for a fast conception.
Changes in your cervical mucus are another low-tech method to monitor fertility.
Although these will not pinpoint your ovulation period as accurately as a prediction kit, you can still get a general indication of whether you are fertile or not.
When your body prepares to ovulate, you will produce excessive thin and clear mucus, paving a smoother path for sperm to link with the egg.
You will notice that your vaginal mucus looks and feels slippery like raw egg whites on your most fertile days that are right before ovulation.
After ovulating, the mucus will go back to become thicker before it slowly dries up.
The best way to do a mucus check is by collecting a sample gently on toilet paper by wiping the vaginal opening. If you do this numerous times a day and do not see enough mucus, you are probably not in the fertile period.
When to Have Sex
Most medical professionals recommend having regular sex approximately 1 to 5 days before ovulating.
If you start having sex during the ovulation period, it may already be too late.
Then you should also continue getting down to business the day after ovulation. This is because sperm can easily survive up to five days inside your body, while an egg’s lifespan is only a maximum of 24 hours.
Therefore, having intercourse before ovulating and doing it again the day after will skyrocket your chances of getting pregnant.
Even though several articles suggest the best sex positions for fast pregnancies, there is no guarantee.
When you pinpoint ovulation correctly, your chances are high no matter which sexual position you use.
It is best to do what comes naturally without stressing about getting pregnant if you have successfully tracked your ovulation window.
If you are under the age of 35 and cannot get pregnant despite having timed your ovulation and intercourse windows after trying for six months, you should visit your doctor for a fertility evaluation.
We wish you luck and joy on your TTC journey!!
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From the moment you get pregnant, you know that your life will suddenly be all about the little bundle of joy you are bringing into the world.
However, aside from all the celebrations, you may also wake up in a panic at times, wondering about the kind of parent you will be.
Will you be calm or strict? Will you prefer breastfeeding over using formula?
Although news of a pregnancy is one of the most exciting moments in a person’s life, here are 15 critical decisions that you need to think about carefully and discuss with your partner to help make parenting a little less stressful.
15 Decisions to Make For Your Baby During Their First Year
Posting Baby Photos
Some parents cannot wait to tell all their loved ones about how their newborn baby is doing.
You may want to suddenly share every aspect of the baby’s life.
After all, why shouldn’t the rest of your family see how cute your child looks while sleeping? However, posting photos and videos of your baby can be harmful.
Not only will your baby resent you on their 18th birthday for that awkward bathtub picture you posted, but it is also a security concern.
If you post pictures, always make sure to tweak the privacy settings to ensure that only the most trustworthy people in your social circle have access.
Thinking About Siblings
If you have grown up in a large family with a healthy dose of sibling rivalry that kept you on your toes throughout childhood, you may be wondering when the right time is to try for another baby.
This is common if couples do not want their children to have a massive age gap between them.
However, make sure you are prepared to get pregnant again after giving birth. There may be reasons you want to wait, such as not feeling ready, money problems, and career goals.
If you decide against getting pregnant within your baby’s first year of life, you may need to consider birth control to buy more time.
Many parents prefer to co-sleep with their babies instead of getting a crib.
If you do get a crib, you will also need to decide where to put it.
You may want to have the crib next to your bed or have a separate baby’s room.
I personally co-slept with all of mine and since I breastfed it made things much easier and everyone got the rest they needed.
But because co-sleeping poses some risks you need to do research and be very safe.
Parents often get maternity and paternity leave from work to care for a new baby.
This is where your feelings may change about returning to the office, especially if you want to spend more time with the baby during infancy.
Talk to your partner about the roles and responsibilities you’ll both have with your baby.
Will you both go back to work? Or will one of you be a stay-at-home parent? Who will take the baby to all their doctor’s appointments and prepare baths?
There are tons of things to be done, and dividing up the work can make it easier for everyone involved.
However, this is challenging because television is a great form of entertainment to keep babies occupied while exhausted parents catch a break.
You may have to decide whether you want to entertain your child on your own without any cartoons and if you can muster the time and effort to consistently do so.
Most parents don’t want to use screens but end up doing it anyway. If you do, don’t feel bad. We are all just doing the best we can.
Your babe will turn out just fine.
Using Formula or Nursing
Many health experts believe that breastmilk is the most nutritional choice for infants.
This can be tough for some mothers who cannot breastfeed or do not want to.
Baby formula is an excellent alternative, but some fear their children are not getting enough nutrients because it’s artificial.
The choice between nursing or using formula is very personal, so you should always weigh the pros and cons of both methods before deciding what is best for your baby.
Obviously, fed is best so don’t agonize over your decision.
Medicating Your Baby
Some parents favor medicines while others are against them. This decision hits new parents the moment their baby needs teething medication or cough syrup.
FDA strictly advises against using topical medication for teething, including homeopathic tablets.
You should also be careful of giving too much Tylenol depending on the baby’s height and weight. It is always best to speak to a pediatrician before giving your baby any medicines.
Cutting Their Hair
If you are not a parent who gets too sentimental about a little lock of hair, you may wonder when to give your babe his/her first haircut.
This is an important decision because you may want to give your child a trim during summer to avoid itchiness.
The first haircut is a memorable moment, so you should think about how much you want to cut without endangering the baby’s adorableness.
Your baby will need good childcare whether from you or a provider if you go back to work.
If you are busy juggling several errands or working full-time, you may need to budget for childcare.
This can be expensive for many parents, which is why you should start saving money for this even before your baby is born.
Alternatively, you can hire a temporary babysitter if you want to have a date night once a week.
Vaccinating Your Child
Vaccinations are a controversial subject even though they prevent chickenpox and whooping cough.
Unless you are a single parent, you need to discuss vaccinations with your partner to ensure that you are on the same page.
Some parents avoid vaccinations because of side effects and unnatural ingredients.
Research children’s vaccines and speak to your pediatrician before making this significant decision.
I’m not going to preach about vaccines because it’s a very personal choice. You do what you think is best!
Which Toys to Buy?
There is an abundance of baby toys on the market, and those brands never shy from advertising to new parents like yourself.
Most toys you can find are either made of plastic or wood.
Some parents prefer wooden toys because they are less toxic and do not harm the environment.
You may also want to get toys that teach your baby skills, such as toys with letters or numbers. Some toys are perfect for a 3-month-old baby but would be dull for a child that is nearly 12-months.
Etsy is a great place to find fun and interesting handmade toys for your babe! You should check it out.
No matter how much grandparents are itching to spend alone time with the baby, it is your decision to let them without feeling guilty.
This is essential if your baby is nursing and cannot take a bottle or if you are not close to your parents and do not trust them entirely.
Family members will always want to get to know your little one, but you get to decide who can have that privilege.
They can always visit later after you’ve settled in a bit.
Meeting Other Babies
If your year-old baby does not have any siblings, they may feel entertained by spending time with other children.
However, many parents struggle to pinpoint the right time to start socializing. When kids are older, it is easier to enroll them in music, art, or gymnastics classes to make friends.
This is tricky for an incredibly young baby, especially if you fear that they may catch a sickness or be negatively impacted by other children’s behavior.
This is especially important now that Covid is going around. Make your decisions wisely for you and your whole family.
Weaning From Bottles
If you’ve chosen not to breastfeed babies should start weaning from bottles when they are aged between 9 and 12 months.
This is when you can start introducing a sippy cup or let them stick to the bottle a little longer. Keep in mind that the sooner your baby gives up the bottle, the less chance they have of developing tooth decay.
Many parents worry about the decision to use pacifiers because they can cause dental problems and ear infections.
Even though pacifiers or “binkies” are an excellent way to soothe babies so that everyone can sleep soundly at night, not every baby prefers one.
There are also several types of pacifiers on the market, and your child can be extremely picky.
It is best to buy a few different ones to see which one your baby loves most and be careful not to let them have it all day.
In the end….
There are lots of decisions to make for your baby in the first year and these are just a few you should think about beforehand.
We wish you all the luck in the world with your little one!
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There are several lots of important decisions you need to make during pregnancy that will have a huge impact on you and your babe.
When it comes to childbirth, it’s always best to be overprepared rather than underprepared. You have many options to go through to make those major choices, but we have narrowed down the ideal pregnancy checklist with 15 things you need to cross off.
This list will help make the experience a lot easier, so you can get all your prep done before the little one arrives.
By the way, this post contains affiliate links at no extra cost to you. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.
Decisions You Have To Make During Pregnancy
Where To Give Birth
No matter how early you are in the pregnancy, it is always worth thinking about where you would like to give birth.
This needs to be your first and most important decision because it impacts who you pick to be your healthcare provider. Think about whether you want to have your baby at home, a hospital, or even a birthing center.
Your obstetrician will have specific privileges at some hospitals, so you should ask them to help schedule you in for your labor.
Some midwives may not be able to deliver at hospitals, so they will need to attend a home birth if you choose this option.
Birth location is a very special and personal choice, and you will need to find or switch doctors early in your pregnancy.
Most providers can accept patients until 34 weeks, but you can rest assured knowing that you have already locked down the best doctor or midwife for your child’s welcome into the world.
A lactation consultant can help answer all your questions before the baby comes, and they can give you tips on how to get your baby to latch on if you decide to breastfeed.
You should also take a breastfeeding course because contrary to popular belief breastfeeding doesn’t always come naturally to mama and baby. Those first few hours are critical so it’s really important to go in knowing what you’re doing.
Milkology is a great option and it’s cheap and quick. You can see it here or you can click on the banner below.
Labor Pain Management Methods
Childbirth is not a pain-free experience. You may opt for an epidural to help manage the pain or go for an unmedicated birth.
There are a few options for you, so you should speak to your gynecologist to lock in a decision months before your due date. But you can always change your mind if you need to while giving birth. So don’t fret over it too much.
Choosing your labor pain management method will also impact where you give birth.
For instance, if you want an epidural, you will need to be admitted to a hospital.
In the meantime, try to take some childbirth classes to know what to expect. Labor can last for several hours and knowing what your body will go through will help you decide whether you want a medicated birth or not.
Some women handle the pain better than others, so this choice comes down to your personal preference.
Taking a labor course will help you make these important decisions and just like a breastfeeding course, a labor course is a super important step you should take to prepare for birth.
Here’s the best one online and you can do it at your own pace in about 3 hours’ time. You will learn EVERYTHING you need to know. Honestly, this course is amazing. You can find it here.
Finding a Pediatrician
Your newborn baby will need to get an immediate checkup after birth.
They will be taken for a routine exam in the hospital within 24 hours after being born.
This will be done by the medical staff or your pediatrician. Then your baby will need to undergo their first wellness health checkup a week after their birth.
Therefore, you will need to have a great pediatrician on speed dial before the baby arrives since you will rely on their support. Start interviewing potential doctors in your area when you are in your third trimester to ensure that they will be a good fit.
Also, read reviews. I got stuck with a terrible Pediatrician with my first kiddo and had to change. Not a fun or easy experience.
Hiring a Doula
A Doula is a birthing expert that can help you through the process. Even though you do not need to hire them, they are extremely helpful.
They are trained to provide a lot of emotional, educational, and physical support.
Doulas are not qualified to give any medical care, but they can encourage and motivate you through labor. They will go over your birthing plan and answer any questions you have.
Doulas can also guide you on the different positions for more comfort and help you practice some breathing techniques.
You can ask them to massage any aches, and they have great advice for any postpartum support you may need.
Interview reputable doulas in your area to choose the right person because you will be spending a lot of time with them.
Cord Blood Banking
This is a process where blood leftover from a newborn baby’s umbilical cord gets collected for medical purposes in the future.
This can be used to provide cancer treatment for your child down the line. I really wish I had done this for mine but I didn’t know about it at the time.
Or you can donate it for another child who may need a transplant. You can choose whether you want to store this blood from the cord in a private bank by paying a fee.
Alternatively, you can donate it to the public blood bank.
If you want it in your own cord blood bank, then you will need to choose the right one and get their collection kit approximately six weeks before you are due.
Let your doctor know your final decision, and they will be prepared to collect the blood for you moments after birth.
Delayed Cord Clamping
If you have decided to collect blood from the umbilical cord, you cannot delay clamping the cord to prevent clots.
This is a standard procedure that you will need to discuss with your doctor to see if this is something that they can consider without risking your health. Clamping of the cord can usually be delayed by a few seconds to 5 minutes.
Saving Your Placenta
Nearly half an hour after giving birth, your body will get rid of the placenta.
If you choose to keep the placenta for any symbolic reasons, you will need to talk to your doctor.
You may want to drink it in a smoothie or consume it in the form of pills. The placenta can be helpful with postpartum recoveries by boosting your mood and production of breast milk.
However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advises against eating the placenta because it can lead to infections for you or the baby.
If you want to save the placenta for personal reasons, tell your doctor in advance to use methods that will lower the risk of infections.
Think About Circumcision
If you are giving birth to a baby boy, you will need to think about whether you want them to be circumcised or not.
Many parents go this route for cultural and religious reasons.
However, there are also medical advantages of circumcisions to help prevent urinary tract infections and other sexually transmitted diseases in the future.
Research Baby’s Shots
Newborn babies come into this world with low vitamin K levels, which is necessary to form healthy blood clots.
A vitamin K deficiency for a new baby can be life-threatening because there is a risk of bleeding out if they cannot clot correctly.
Parents have a right to decline these shots, but it is always better to get them once they are born.
Your baby may also need a Hepatitis B vaccine.
Ensure that you do the research beforehand and are prepared to sign all consent forms before giving birth.
People in Delivery Room
Although most family members and loved ones would love to cram into the delivery room to support you, it is always best to choose who you want to be there before going into labor.
This way, you can avoid all the stress and family dramas, especially if hospitals only allow a couple of people in there with you.
You can also choose when to let someone inside. If you permit a friend and partner, they do not have to be with you the entire time if you need some privacy.
Delivery Room Experience
After picking the person you want in the delivery room with you, the next step is to think about the environment you want to set before going into labor.
Some mothers prefer curating playlists to listen to music while giving birth.
This is useful if you want some motivation or soothing sounds, especially during breathing exercises.
Alternatively, you can also bring some essential oils and a diffuser to help you cope with stress.
If you want peace and quiet, you can also hang a “Do Not Disturb” sign outside the door so nurses will know to keep their voices down.
Skin-to-skin or kangaroo care involves keeping your naked baby directly on your chest. This helps newborns regulate their body temperature and stabilize critical signs.
It can also soothe the cries of your babies and lead to healthier weight gain and breastfeeding progress.
If you want to go through this process with your child, make sure to inform your care provider even if you are undergoing a c-section.
Baby’s First Bath
Your baby will be born covered in a white and waxy substance known as vernix. This is where the baby will need a sponge bath a couple of hours after they are born.
However, some people prefer delaying the first bath for an entire day. This is because vernix can help keep the baby warm while regulating their blood sugar.
New mothers also avoid washing their babies before bonding with some skin-to-skin contact.
Unless there is a medical reason, you can delay washing your newborn baby for a few hours. Plan the best way to give them a first bath before going into labor, and let your doctor know to prevent any last-minute surprises.
Research the benefits and risks of using pacifiers before deciding whether you want your child to have one. If you want to use a pacifier, you will need to think about ways to introduce it to the baby.
Some may be happy accepting it from the get-go, but others can be hesitant to take it. Some nurses in the hospital may also offer a pacifier to help calm the baby, so you should always let them know your decision before birth if you are comfortable using pacifiers or not.
In the end….
Childbirth is always full of unknown factors, even though some women may be having their third or fourth child. With each child you’ll have important Decisions You Have To Make During Pregnancy.
It’s always an unnerving experience for mothers, despite how much experience they have. Stay flexible with your choices and decisions.
That way, you will not get disheartened if something does not go your way entirely.
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Month 2 Of Pregnancy | What To Expect
The second month of pregnancy is from week five to week eight.
But You will essentially feel the same as you did in your first month. During this time you will go to your first doctor’s visit and they will give you several tests and confirm your pregnancy.
You will set up a prenatal timeline for your visits and get your insurance or financial plan squared away with your provider. You will very likely have your first ultrasound during this time as well to confirm your babe’s heartbeat.
Now let’s talk about your baby first and then we will talk about what you’ll be going through.
At the end of month 2, your baby will be 1 inch long and weigh about 1/30 of an ounce. So little and sweet….
Facial Features Developing
During this time your sweet babe’s little facial features will start developing.
Each ear begins as a little fold of skin at the side of the head and eyes, a nose, a mouth also begin to grow.
Your baby still looks like a little alien but he\she gets more human-looking by the day.
During your second month, your baby’s heart is now beating around 80 beats a minute.
Your baby’s heart has already started to fully form, and by now will have four hollow chambers.
When you go in for an ultrasound they’ll check to make sure it’s beating and at the right pace. This will give you peace of mind that your babe is developing appropriately.
Your baby’s arms, hands, fingers, feet, and toes are fully formed by the end of the second month and he/she will even be wiggling around a bit, but you won’t be able to feel it yet, of course.
A lot is happening inside your body right now, with the cells coming together to form an embryo.
You will go through huge changes and you’ll likely feel beyond exhausted. It’s hard work making a baby and you’ll feel it..
It’s like constantly climbing a mountain while you’re sitting down.
This is one of the hardest parts of the first trimester and the number one complaint during this time, but it does pass, I promise you.
This is the second main complaint about the first trimester.
Morning sickness for some is not too bad, but for others it is debilitating. It can really complicate life when you need to eat and you’re starving but you can’t keep it down or you’re trying to work but your body WILL NOT LET YOU.
But there are some things you can do to help yourself.
Pregnancy is such an exciting time in a woman’s life. But it comes with a cascade of physical changes that can happen overnight.
Your body is thrown into total chaos and it is very overwhelming. It’s good to know exactly what to expect.
A typical full-term pregnancy can range anywhere between 37 to 42 weeks, and this is divided into three trimesters.
Each trimester will last approximately 12 to 14 weeks, which is roughly 3 months. During this time, you will experience physiological and hormonal changes that a very intense. After all, growing a human inside you takes a lot of work so be prepared for one crazy ride!
Here we will guide you through your pregnancy symptoms month to month so that you can be prepared to cope with these changes as they happen.
Pregnancy Symptoms You Need To Know From Month One Till Birth
0 to 3 Month Pregnancy Symptoms
The initial three months of your pregnancy are known as the “first trimester.” The official start of your pregnancy should be from the first day of your last period.
You won’t look pregnant at all on the outside during the first trimester, but your body will go through many changes to accommodate a growing fetus.
The hormonal and physiological changes are not the same for everyone.
Some experience symptoms more harshly than others. You may feel a rapid increase in estrogen and progesterone, which will create a pregnancy “glow” that everyone compliments.
Or alternatively, you may be very sick from it all. It’s a very individual experience.
The estrogen increase will improve the formation of blood vessels, advance the transfer of nutrients, and support the development of your baby.
Progesterone levels will also be high during this time, and you may feel your ligaments and joints loosening throughout your body. Your ureters that connect your kidneys with the bladder will increase in size, and the uterus will get much larger.
Your posture may also change as your breasts grow bigger month to month and the equilibrium in your body changes due to your uterus growing in size.
Changes in weight will contribute to this as well.
Your tummy will transform from a flat and concave to a convex shape, which will curve your back to shift the effects of gravity forward, thus changing your balance.
Your body will feel like it’s getting a good workout even from the smallest movements, which is why you will start feeling tired more often. It can feel a bit like you’re always climbing an upward hill or even a mountain.
This additional weight and the shift in gravity can slow the circulation of your blood and other fluids in the limbs, which is why you retain more water that will gradually leave you feeling bloated. This is one of the more annoying symptoms and it will continue throughout your pregnancy.
In these initial weeks after conception, your hormone levels change a fair bit to support the growing fetus and placenta, and this will increase your heart rate. Other early symptoms of pregnancy are morning sickness, constipation, and headaches. So sometimes the whole thing can be pretty difficult. But it does get better!
Your first trimester is the most critical period when your baby develops its organs, finishing around the third month.
Therefore, you should always maintain a balanced and healthy diet with extra folic acid to prevent neural tube defects.
It is also wise to stop smoking, drinking alcohol, and taking prescription medications unless your doctor says otherwise if you have those things going on.
A home test can reveal your pregnancy during this time, then you will need to go to your first doctor’s appointment around 6-8 weeks after your last menstrual cycle. The doctor will then confirm that you are pregnant by taking a blood or urine test.
They may use a Doppler machine to conduct a vaginal ultrasound.
This is an exciting experience because you will hear your baby’s heartbeat for the first time. It’s quite magical if I do say so myself.
During this first appointment, they will do lots of tests, things like blood tests to examine your nutritional levels, immunity, and any other indicators regarding your baby’s health.
It’s very important you start getting your prenatal care early on so that you can have as healthy a pregnancy as possible. So get a doc asap and get everything set up. Don’t wait.
A few more things to consider are cutting down on shellfish, deli meat, and coffee. These things can pose a risk to your pregnancy and your growing babe.
Only take prenatal vitamins after getting the green signal from your healthcare provider. Honestly, there are some really crappy vitamins that are not all that good for you.
This is when your second trimester kicks in at weeks 13 to 27.
Unlike the first trimester, you will feel more relaxed knowing that you have safely and successfully made it this far. You will also finally start looking pregnant.
Many early pregnancy symptoms will start to disappear by the second trimester and your body will no longer be in shock from the sudden hormonal changes.
Some women even feel pretty normal, like they’re not pregnant anymore. It’s only obvious because their body is continuing to change.
Since your body has begun to adapt to the new feeling of being pregnant, you may experience a surge of energy levels during the day and sleep more soundly at night. I actually had tons of energy during the second trimester with all three of mine and it certainly was a welcome change considering I was DEAD TIRED during my first trimester every time.
In terms of appearance, this is where your lower body will look pregnant in an obvious way as the uterus grows bigger. This is the perfect opportunity to go shopping for some gorgeous maternity dresses so you can avoid wearing clothes that feel too tight. Here are some great options that we recommend.
Since you have gotten over the scary first trimester, now is a great time to tell all your family and friends about your wonderful news if you have not done so already. You can create neat and creative baby announcements and surprise everyone in a fun way.
Although the initial pregnancy symptoms will wear off at this stage, there are some new ones that you need to monitor consistently.
For instance, many women complain about heartburn, backaches, nasal congestion, and leg cramps. You will also gain weight much faster with intense
cravings that increase your appetite since you are now eating for two.
This is the exciting time when you should feel the baby move for the first time, at around 20 weeks. If it’s not your first pregnancy you may feel your babe wiggling around as early as 16 weeks! Many women do.
Your baby can also recognize and hear your voice, so you can enjoy singing or talking to them as a bonding experience.
Your medical visits during the third to sixth month will involve screening tests to unearth any genetic issues that may put you and your baby at risk.
At weeks 18 and 22, you will also need to undergo an anatomy ultrasound that will scan and measure your baby’s lungs, brain, heart, and kidneys. During these scans, your doctor can find out the sex of the baby if you want to know.
At weeks 26 and 28, you will also be checked for gestational diabetes, especially if you have a family history of developing diabetes. The doctor will make you ingest a drink packed with glucose before drawing blood to see how you react to sugar during this stage of pregnancy.
6-9 Month Pregnancy Symptoms
If you have made it to week 28, congratulations! That’s absolutely wonderful.
This is where you will start having more medical checkups because your baby will be due soon. Your doctor will frequently call you in to test your urine for protein, check your blood pressure, and monitor fetal heart rate. Your fundal height will also be measured, which is the length of your uterus.
If you experience a lot of swelling in your hands and legs, this is where your doctor will address the issue in more detail.
Other tests include determining your baby’s position and cervix checks to ensure that your body is fully preparing for childbirth at a steady pace.
Around weeks 36 and 37, your gynecologist should be screening you for Group B Streptococcus (GBS) by taking a quick swab from the vaginal area. This is essential because the bacteria can be harmful to newborns during delivery.
If your GBS test is positive, you will need to get antibiotics during your pregnancy to avoid passing it on to your child.
Your doc will also likely restrict your travel during this trimester because your body is in the most delicate state.
Most cruise ships and airlines will refuse to take passengers that are over 28 weeks pregnant, so avoid booking any holidays. If you need to go anywhere for an emergency, you will need permission from your doctor.
Women have had trouble with flying so it’s important that you listen to your doctor. The pressure and changes associated with flying have sent some women into preterm labor. This is why you may be refused.
If you haven’t taken a pregnancy and labor course at this point this is the time to get it done. You can do it online in just a few hours. Here’s a course created by a labor and delivery nurse and educator that we like to recommend. It’s quick and simple and it will teach you everything you need to know.
The Due Date
When you are at weeks 37-42, you should physically and emotionally prepare to welcome a new family member into the world.
The count down till your due date is a fun and exciting time!
Typically, the due date is an estimated date of delivery that is counted from the first day the last time you had your period, even though conception only takes place about two weeks after this date.
However, note that the due date is most effective for those who have regular periods. If you have had a history of irregular menstruation cycles
throughout your life, your delivery date will not be the most accurate prediction.
You’ll likely get a surge of energy right before your baby comes and go into nesting mode. This is a good time to fully prepare, make sure you have everything you need ( check this post ) and pack your hospital bag if you haven’t already.
Your body will feel pretty uncomfortable at this point and it may be REALLY hard to sleep but you’re almost there so hang in there!
If you don’t go into labor on or near your due date your doc may want to induce you to get things going, especially if your baby is getting really big.
In The End…..
Pregnancy is a daunting experience, no matter how prepared you are. It is always best to monitor your pregnancy symptoms month to month and never miss a doctor’s appointment so that you and your babe get the best care possible.
Prenatal care is critical before the big day, so you should get all the proper tests on time and keep your doctor’s number on speed dial to give your baby the best first birthday.
We wish you all the luck in the world and congrats on your pregnancy!!