What Do I Need To Know About Pregnancy – Medical Review by Valinda Riggins Nwadike, MD, MPH — By Nicole Galan, RN — Updated August 3, 2021
A full-term pregnancy has three trimesters and lasts about 40 weeks – starting on the first day of the last menstrual period. In each trimester, the fetus corresponds to specific stages of development.
What Do I Need To Know About Pregnancy
While 40 weeks is the usual time frame, a full-term baby can be born as early as 37 weeks and as late as 42 weeks.
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At conception, the egg and sperm combine to form a zygote, which implants in the wall of the uterus. The zygote becomes an embryo as its cells divide and grow.
Morning sickness can last through the first trimester and sometimes beyond. Despite its name, it is not only found in the morning.
Are the second trimester. The fruit goes through many changes during this time, growing to about 1 foot long and weighing 1.5 pounds.
Many people feel more comfortable during the second trimester of pregnancy. Morning sickness and fatigue often decrease or disappear.
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It’s also normal to feel anxious about birth and parenting towards the end of your pregnancy.
The three months after birth play a key role in the health of a person and their baby. Some people call this transition period the fourth trimester.
Persistent low mood, feelings of guilt or inadequacy, or thoughts of harming themselves or the baby should seek immediate medical attention and guidance. These could be signs of postpartum depression.
If you or someone you know is having suicidal thoughts, a prevention hotline can help. The 988 Suicide and Crisis Helpline is available 24 hours a day at 988. During a crisis, the hearing impaired can use their preferred referral service or dial 711 then 988.
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Pregnancy, childbirth and the first few months with a newborn are unlike any other period of life. They are full of new experiences, great uncertainty, upheavals and many new emotions.
Getting regular prenatal care is vital during each trimester. A doctor can help ensure that the fetus meets its developmental milestones and that the pregnant woman is in good health. They can also provide guidance and support resources.
Medical News Today has strict sourcing guidelines and draws only from peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical journals and associations. We avoid using third party references. We link to primary sources—including studies, scientific references, and statistics—within each article and also list them in the resources section at the bottom of our articles. You can learn more about how we ensure our content is accurate and up-to-date by reading our editorial policy. The most common symptom of early pregnancy is the absence of a period. This may be less obvious for women with irregular periods or who use a type of contraception that affects their periods. These women may not notice a missed period. It is also common to notice physical changes such as:
Some women will experience many of these changes, while others will not feel much different than usual. If you have severe symptoms, ask your doctor what you can do to feel better.
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Hormonal changes in early pregnancy can also cause changes in your mood. You may feel more emotional and cry more easily. These sensations are very common in early pregnancy, but if they become severe and start to affect your daily life, it’s a good idea to discuss them with your doctor or pregnancy specialist.
If you think you might be pregnant, you can check with a home pregnancy test. Home pregnancy tests are easy to use and can be found in most supermarkets and pharmacies.
If your home pregnancy test is positive, you should see your doctor to confirm your pregnancy with a blood test and get information and advice on what to do next.
If your home pregnancy test is negative but you still think you may be pregnant, you can visit your doctor for a blood test to check if you are pregnant.
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While you’re waiting to confirm whether you’re pregnant, it’s a good idea to act like you would if you were pregnant. This means you should avoid alcohol and cigarette smoke and eat a healthy diet, including a folic acid supplement.
Most babies are born around 38 weeks after conception. Because many women ovulate (release an egg that can then be fertilized) and conceive about 2 weeks after their last period, this is often about 40 weeks from the start of their last period. That is why people often talk about a pregnancy that lasts 40 weeks.
Women with a regular 28-day cycle can calculate their baby’s due date by counting 40 weeks from the first day of their last period. This may not be as simple or accurate in other situations, such as if you have long or irregular cycles, can’t remember when you had your last period, or if you got pregnant while taking birth control that affected your cycle.
If you’re not sure when you conceived, your doctor or midwife may refer you for a dating scan, which uses ultrasound to determine your due date based on the size of your baby.
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Pregnancy is an emotional time, especially if your pregnancy was unplanned. It can be helpful to discuss your options with someone you trust, such as your partner, family member or close friend. Your doctor or local family planning clinic can also give you information and advice.
You don’t need to decide what to do right away, but it’s still a good idea to see your doctor as soon as possible. If you decide to terminate the pregnancy, it is best to have the procedure done as soon as possible. If you decide to continue the pregnancy, your doctor can give you information and advice to maximize your and your baby’s health and well-being.
Call Pregnancy, Birth and Baby to speak to a maternal and child health nurse on 1800 882 436 or video call. Available from 7am to midnight (AET), 7 days a week.
Morning sickness – MyDr.com.au Many women experience morning sickness (nausea and vomiting) in early pregnancy and symptoms can occur at any time of the day or night. Read more on the myDr website Morning sickness Morning sickness is nausea and vomiting experienced by many women during pregnancy. It affects between 70 to 85 percent of pregnant women. Read more on the WA Health website Morning sickness Morning sickness is a feeling of nausea or vomiting during pregnancy. Find out why some women get it and what you can do to relieve it. Read more on the pregnancy, birth and baby website Molar pregnancy A molar pregnancy is a type of pregnancy where the baby is not developing. Molar pregnancy can be complete or partial. Read more on the pregnancy, birth and baby website Pregnancy – signs and symptoms – Better Health Channel All women experience pregnancy differently and you will experience different symptoms at different stages of pregnancy. Read more on the Better Health Channel website Second Trimester During the second trimester, your baby’s organs will develop and they will begin to hear sounds. Any morning sickness will likely subside by this time. Read more on the pregnancy, birth and baby website Supporting Girls – Brave Foundation Yes, it sounds like the movies, but food cravings can sometimes be a sign of pregnancy Read more on the Brave Foundation website Pregnancy at 6 weeks By week 6 your baby is growing rapidly and you may notice the early signs of your pregnancy, such as nausea. Read more on the pregnancy, birth and baby website Week by week pregnancy – antenatal care at 7 weeks pregnant Your doctor can look at the characteristics of your fetus to determine how old it is – find out how. You should talk to your doctor if you experience very severe morning sickness as you may not be getting all the nutrients you and your baby need, or spotting in early pregnancy (spotting) as you may be exposed to risk of miscarriage. Read more on the Parenthub website Multiple pregnancy (triplets or more) Finding out you’re pregnant with triplets or more can be a shock, but in general most parents feel that having multiple babies is a positive experience. Read more on the pregnancy, birth and baby website
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