Hey beautiful lady… so you have taken a home pregnancy test and it has given the result as positive. You are very excited, happy and almost feel like jumping. No, no, wait….! You should not jump now. A thousand things running through your mind like what will happen during all three trimesters. I remember many of those beautiful days spent during waiting to hold my sweet little baby. I am sharing those things with you here.
Olden days most of the people lived in joint families where elders were present to guide in each phase but now we are living in nuclear families, we are depending mostly on Google. We browse each and everything when we don’t know what to do. Even I had downloaded pregnancy application on my phone to check out baby growth and pregnancy symptoms, and I use to go through BabyCenter website. Read many blogs about pregnancy and parenting. Let me list out some tips that might help you through your beautiful journey of pregnancy.
Full term pregnancy can range from 38 to 42 weeks, which is divided into three trimesters. Around three months for each trimesters.
First trimester (Month 1 to Month 3)
Your home pregnancy test is shown positive and you confirmed it from gynecologist by checking your HCG (Human Chorionic Gonadotropin) level. Doctor will ask you to go for blood test (which includes Hb%, platelet count, blood group and Rh factor, diabetes profile, thyroid profile, serology which contains HIV test too.) and urine routine examination. After confirming the pregnancy your doctor will ask you for first day of your Last Menstrual Period (LMP) to decide the due date. Whatever the due date doctor has given it is approximate. It doesn’t mean that you will deliver your baby on that day itself. J It will vary slightly. It may happen a week before due date or a week beyond your due date.
You may be feeling morning sickness and nausea, not only in the morning it can make you suffer throughout the day. As each pregnancy is different. You may or may not feel dizziness, strong sense of smell, craving for certain foods, increased trips to bathroom, tender breasts, and you may experience extreme mood swings too because of the hormone levels are high. 🙁
Doctor will suggest you to take folic tablets. Deficiency of folic acid can lead to neural defects in the developing baby. Any other medications in pregnancy is big NO unless approved by the doctor. Avoid taking papaya, pineapple, caffeinated drinks, and alcohol. If you are smoking, say bye to smoking…! Instead start eating fiber rich foods, fresh fruits, nuts, and iron, calcium rich foods. If you are suffering from gestational diabetes then you will have to change your food habits based on doctor’s advice. And your baby will make you to crave for certain foods, may be once you hated the most…! 🙂
Your first ultrasound may be carried out to check your baby’s age i.e., NT scan (Nuchal Translucency scan). It’s a memorable moment as you hear your baby’s heartbeat. There will be a blood test (Double Marker test) and scan to check chromosomal abnormalities (Down syndrome) which happens in between 10 and 12 weeks. Also you will have to take TT injection 1st dose.
Download good pregnancy app which helps you to track your baby’s growth, weight tracker, to save the dates of your doctor appointments and reminders, and the daily blog which gives you information about pregnancy.
Second trimester (Month 4 to Month 6)
Usually second trimester is safe zone because chances of miscarriage is less. Your mind will be much more relaxed now. Second trimester is considerably best compare to other two trimesters. By now nausea, morning sickness and dizziness may start to subside for some people. Your baby is growing bigger you may be able to notice your baby bump, also stretch marks might start to show up on your belly. Don’t bother about the size and shape of the baby bump, as your doctor is expert in this. Linea nigra is one more thing you should know about. It is a line which appears during your pregnancy from belly button to pubic bone. Which will get darker as pregnancy progresses.
Your doctor might have advised you to take protein powder, it will help in your baby’s development. You will start feeling your baby moves as fluttery sensation or like air bubbles during fifth month probably. Soon it will be replaced with pushes and kicks. If not, don’t worry… it will start soon…! Eating something sweet or drinking cold water might give you the immediate response from the baby sometimes. You might spend most of the time looking at ultrasound image even though baby’s body parts were not recognizable.
It might be difficult for you to sleep on your back. Keep a pillow in between your legs while sleeping on your sides, otherwise expanding pelvic bones can make you uncomfortable to sleep. You can also invest on maternity pillow if you wish. As your pregnancy progresses you will feel shortness of breath because your baby is pushing upwards. Keep your feet elevated than normal just to avoid swelling.
If you are not a working woman, it’s better to keep yourself busy in household chores. Walking is good exercise for you… walk at least 30 minutes a day. Do read holy books, “your baby will be able to hear you whatever you say” says elders. Drink lots of fluid which may include water, tender coconut, milk, or any fresh fruit juices. Avoid caffeinated drinks.
That test, this test, ultrasound scans are familiar for you by now…J You will be undergoing Glucose Tolerance Test (GTT), blood test to check your Hb%, Platelet count, and urine test. All these were done between 20 to 24 weeks. Number of scans in this trimester is solely depends on the doctor, may be one or two.
Ladies…its best time for you…! Thinking why…?? Shopping time…! Because old dresses won’t fit you. Get few dresses which makes you feel comfortable, so enjoy shopping with your partner. 🙂
Register for daily newsletters that would be helpful. Go for antenatal classes with your husband so that he also can spend time with you. Remember these classes are mostly conducted in big cities and hospitals. Thanks to Rainbow Hospital, Banneraghatta road, Bangalore for conducting free antenatal classes though I attended during my third trimester.
Third trimester (Month 7 to Month 9)
As your pregnancy progresses you might feel more stretch marks on your belly as well as on thighs. Itching is an issue. You can ask doctor to give you cream for stretch marks otherwise any moisturizing cream also does the work. Anyway even after using the cream stretch marks won’t go fully. Your tummy will not look so beautiful as earlier…:( Don’t forget maternity photoshoot, it’s a great way to cherish your memories. Here are some pics from our photoshoot…
Heart burn might be troubling you… your baby occupying most of the space in your stomach. Some may face lower back pain. The weight of your growing tummy on your bladder causes frequent visit to wash room. You will have to wake up in the night too, no doubt… its nature’s way of training you to wake up several times for feeding the baby.
You by default walking slowly by this time. You will have to go for 2nd dose of TT injection, also two or three growth scans as advised by your doctor. Your baby might be kicking many times a day. As your pregnancy progresses space for the baby is less. Baby kicks also reduces, sometimes you won’t see any movements for a day. Then you will have to encourage your baby to move by drinking any sweet juice, cold water or anything sweet it may be chocolate also. Sometimes it works, otherwise don’t forget to meet your doctor. At least 12 kicks are must per day as doctor says.
You may heard from people that take saffron by mixing it with milk, so that your baby will get fair complexion . . . 🙂 do you believe?? It’s left to you, but the true aspect of eating saffron during pregnancy is for digestion. Because growing baby occupies most of the space inside your tummy, which causes indigestion.
Pack your hospital bag, anytime your labor may starts. Braxton Hicks contraction you must be heard… these are the false contraction, it may appear before the actual labor starts… You will feel the contractions but it doesn’t lasts longer.
Doctor will do internal examination 15 or 20 days before the due date if everything is going fine to check size of your cervix, and explains you everything about the labor pain and delivery. As my doctor said 10% of people deliver during their 36 and 38 weeks, 80% of people deliver in their 38 and 40 weeks, 10% people deliver beyond 40 weeks. If you have not delivered till your due date, based on scan done on due date she will decide whether to get admitted or not. That’s great…you made through your pregnancy. Try for normal delivery, now medical science has grown so well that you can get epidural anesthesia to bear the pain during labor.
I would love to know your experience…please do share in the comments below.
All the best…! Happy pregnancy and parenting… 🙂