Checkpoint 1: First Trimester
“Congratulations baby girl soon to be mama, you are pregnant!”
A normal single human pregnancy is projected to last for forty weeks, multiple that is two or more foetuses in one pregnancy normally have a shorter gestational period. A human pregnancy is divided into three trimesters each lasting a specific number of weeks.
Most women will discover that they are pregnant with a missed period and a positive pregnancy test which can be easily purchased at a pharmacy and done at home. It is a urine test that tests positive for the human gonadotropin hormone. A blood test and an ultrasound in a medical
facility will confirm the pregnancy.
Some of the common pregnancy symptoms at this time are nausea with or without vomiting, fatigue, food cravings, food aversions, constipation, increased urinating, breast soreness which can be attributed to a surge in female hormones to ensure a healthy and successful pregnancy. As uncomfortable as these symptoms are to the mum to be they are a sign of a healthy pregnancy.
It is important to begin antenatal visits at this time because as cell division of the zygote occurs, and the major organs of the baby are formed in this first trimester, the embryo is monitored for proper development. Pregnancy supplements containing folic acid are taken to aid In the
formation of the brain and spinal cord.
The unborn’s heart beat can be easily detected in an antenatal visit between six and a half to the seventh week of pregnancy. At this stage, the baby is called an embryo. Although the choice of food may be limited for some women as many foods tend to trigger that nauseous feeling, pregnant women experiencing nausea are advised to eat more of bland foods
and small portions during this period. Hypermeresis gravidarum is a severe form of nausea and vomiting that requires medical attention.
Not all pregnancies are a source of joy to the mum to be or dad to be and a positive pregnancy test can be a source of immense stress to some, this will be discussed later on in the blog.
Checkpoint 2: Second Trimester
The second trimester of a human pregnancy lasts from week 13 to 28, roughly month 4, 5, 6. Most women enjoy this trimester of pregnancy as the disturbing symptoms of the first trimester disappear.
With the renewed burst of energy this is a good trimester to be up and about and plan for the anticipated baby. At this point one should consider where they plan to give birth. It is in this trimester that the mother to be will begin looking pregnant with her baby bump beginning to show. “I know what you did last summer baby girl!”
One should consider getting bigger fitting clothes or maternity wear to accommodate the growing foetus’ growth.
It is at this stage when most mothers to be tell their wider families, friends and employer of the expected baby. The antenatal clinics normally on a monthly basis should continue with a critical ultra sound at
week 20 to determine whether the baby is developing normally.
The baby also continues growing and it is in this trimester that the mother will notice the first movements of the child. After a while she will notice a sleep wake cycle that the baby adopts.
Finer developments of the baby continue: eyelids can open and shut, eyelashes and eyebrows form, finger nails and toe nails, fingers and toes begin to separate, and a distinct and unique fingerprint too. The placenta is also fully formed at this stage acting as a source of nourishment and oxygen and removal of waste between the mother and child.
The baby also develops a sense of hearing in this trimester, and can suck their thumb. Oh the miracle of creation, of a new life
Checkpoint 3: Third Trimester
This is the last phase of pregnancy and lasts from week 29 to 40; typically the 7 th , 8 th and 9 th month of pregnancy. In this stage the baby continues growing, developing and changing position in the mother’s womb.
This trimester can be very challenging to the mother to be. At this stage the baby can see, hear, suck their thumb and cry. The brain keeps on developing. The lungs and kidneys are mature and the head faces down ready for delivery.
Some uncomfortable symptoms for the expectant mother to be include;
Braxton Hicks contractions are the “false” labor pains that a pregnant woman might have before “true” labor. They’re your body’s way of getting ready for the real thing. But they don’t mean labor has started or is about to begin.Before “true” labor begins, you may have “false” labor pains. (www.webmd.com)
Sciatica refers to pain that radiates along the path of the sciatic nerve, which branches from your lower back through your hips and buttocks and down each leg. Typically, sciatica affects only one side of your body. (www.webmd.com)
Shortness of breath
Heartburn and constipation
Heamorrhoids also called piles, are swollen veins in your anus and lower rectum, similar to varicose veins.(www.webmd.com)
March 2020 – To New Beginnings
To re(New)ed Parenthood
Source: Different sources of reading by Kwambie Nyambane.