- What You Need To Know About Pregnancy
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What You Need To Know About Pregnancy – Clinically reviewed 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 from the first day of the last period. In each trimester, the fetus meets specific stages of development.
What You Need To Know About Pregnancy
Although 40 weeks is the usual time, a full-term baby can be born as early as 37 weeks and as late as 42 weeks.
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During pregnancy, the egg and sperm combine to form a zygote, which implants in the wall of the uterus. A zygote becomes an embryo as its cells divide and grow.
Morning sickness can last through the first trimester and sometimes longer. Despite its name, it doesn’t just happen in the morning.
It is the second trimester. The fetus goes through many changes during this time, growing to about 1 foot in length and weighing 1.5 pounds.
Most people feel better in the second trimester of pregnancy. Morning sickness and fatigue often reduce or disappear.
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It is also common to feel anxious about labor and delivery towards the end of pregnancy.
The 3 months after giving birth play an important role in the health of a person and their child. Some people call this transition period the fourth trimester.
Persistent low mood, feelings of guilt or inadequacy, or thoughts of harming yourself or the child should seek immediate medical care and guidance. These can 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 Hotline is available 24 hours a day at 988. In times of crisis, people who are hard of hearing can use their preferred dispatch service or call 711 then 988.
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Pregnancy, childbirth, and the first few months with a newborn are unlike any other time in life. They are full of new experiences, great uncertainty, upheavals, and many new emotions.
Routine prenatal care is important in each trimester. A doctor can help ensure that the fetus reaches its developmental stages and that the pregnant woman is in good health. They can also provide guidance and resources for support.
Medical News Today has strict sourcing guidelines and is based only on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical journals and associations. We avoid using higher education references. We link primary sources – including studies, scientific references and statistics – within each article and also list them in the resource section at the bottom of our article. You can find out more about how we ensure our content is accurate and up-to-date by reading our editorial policy. You’ve decided it’s time to add to your family. But wait just a second – or a few months. To give yourself the best chance of having a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby, here are some important things you need to do first.
1. Schedule a prenatal health visit with a health care provider at least three months before you become pregnant.
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This visit gives you time and space to talk about your desire to get pregnant. Before you go, be prepared to talk about yourself:
It includes any previous pregnancies, miscarriages, stillbirths, or abortions. Tell your provider if your periods are regular, and about your previous and current use of birth control, previous Pap test results, and any sexually transmitted diseases or other infections you’ve had.
Medical conditions such as diabetes, asthma, or high blood pressure can harm pregnancy. It is best to work with your health care provider to manage any health conditions before becoming pregnant.
Talk to your health care provider about any history of mental health conditions, past and present. Poor mental health that is not well managed before pregnancy can increase the risk of postpartum mental illness, substance abuse, and poor care during pregnancy. Always talk to your provider before stopping any medication.
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Tell your provider about all the medications you take, including prescription, over-the-counter, and vitamin or herbal supplements you take. Some medications can increase your risk of miscarriage or having a baby with birth defects. Your doctor or midwife can help you review your medications so you can stay healthy and keep your baby healthy. It’s never a good idea to stop taking prescription medication without talking to your doctor or midwife first.
Tell your doctor or midwife if you or your partner work or live near potential hazards – such as cat feces, x-rays, and lead or solvents. Some of these factors can affect your ability to get pregnant or maintain a healthy pregnancy.
Your health care provider or midwife will check your weight and blood pressure. You may also want to have a Pap test and pelvic exam if you haven’t had one in the last year. Finally, make sure all your vaccinations are up to date and get any you may be missing.
Found in many multivitamins and fortified foods like cereal, bread, and pasta, folic acid is a B vitamin that is needed for proper cell growth. To get enough folic acid, women should take multivitamins every day and eat a healthy diet that includes foods rich in folic acid such as leafy green vegetables and whole grains.
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Folic acid is very important for your baby’s health. Studies have shown that, if taken daily for at least one month before conception and during the first trimester of pregnancy, folic acid can reduce the risk of birth defects of the brain and spine called neural tube defects. New research also suggests that folic acid may reduce the risk of other birth defects, such as cleft lip and palate and several heart defects.
Smoking, drinking too much alcohol, and/or using illegal drugs with your partner or partner can harm your pregnancy and your baby. If you or your partner uses any of these substances, ask your provider for help stopping before you get pregnant.
You’ll want to try and reach your healthy weight, based on BMI, before you get pregnant. Being overweight or obese can make it harder to get pregnant and increase your risk of complications. Being underweight can increase your risk of having a low birth weight baby.
Build a habit of eating well and doing regular exercise before you get pregnant. These habits will help you stay healthy throughout your pregnancy and life.
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It’s a good idea to schedule a dental cleaning, especially if it’s been a while since your last trip to the dentist. Some studies have shown a link between gum disease and having a premature or low birth weight baby. Treating oral health problems before you become pregnant can prevent future health problems in you and your baby.
Most women can get pregnant soon after stopping birth control, regardless of how long you’ve been using it.
Some women using birth control pills (Depo-Provera) may take longer to ovulate after stopping, so it may take longer to get pregnant. It can take up to 13 weeks after your last shot to start ovulation. If you still haven’t gotten your period a year after your last shot, see your healthcare provider.
By watching and following your menstrual cycle, you can track when you ovulated and have a high chance of getting pregnant. You can use a calendar or mobile app to track your period and ovulation to increase your chances of getting pregnant. Basics of male reproduction The life cycle of sperm is about 3 months. That is why when male fertility treatment involves changes in diet or environment, couples are asked to wait for 3 months before trying to conceive again. Little man…
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