** I just found out I'm pregnant! What do I do first? **
Well, first off, congratulations! So there are a few important things to think about now.
#1: Your health is super important. The healthier you are, the healthier your baby is. Be sure to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, drink plenty of fluid, and get the rest you need. Get your 8 hours of sleep, but also take a nap if you are feeling like you need it. Listen to your body, and put your health as your top priority.
#2: Call your doctor. If you have an OB/GYN doctor, than that's great! You can call them first. If you don't have an OB/GYN doctor, then call your primary care physician. They will help point you in the right direction.
#3: Subscribe to social media pages and apps to help give you guidance through your pregnancy. There are some great pregnancy apps out there that tell you every week how far along you are, how much the baby weighs, and so much more! They are super fun to see every week, and also can connect you with other new moms out there.
#4: Enjoy your pregnancy! Sometimes this is easy to loose sight of. Being pregnant is tough at times, and your body needs change along with the size of your baby bump. Not to worry though. Being pregnant is a wonderful exciting time! Try to find your daily happiness and celebrate what's yet to come!
#5: Now the fun stuff. Gender Reveal Party! Baby Shower! Decorate the Nursery! All super fun times to celebrate the impending arrival of your little one.
#6: Don't forget to start a wish list for your baby registries. Pick out your colors and themes, and be sure to share it with friends and family. Everyone loves to buy the baby a gift, and they especially love it when you love the gift also!
** When should I buy maternity clothes? **
Buy them whenever you see fit. No matter how far along you are, be sure to be comfortable in your clothes. Wearing clothes that are too restrictive or tight isn't good. Remember- take care of yourself. This includes a proper fitting wardrobe.
** What can I expect at my OB/GYN Doctor appointments? **
You can expect several doctor appoints with your OB/GYN. They will monitor you and your baby throughout the course of the pregnancy. You will most likely have a couple ultrasounds with your doctor. They will also do physical checks of you; such as checking your weight, measuring your baby bump, and taking your blood pressure.
1st Trimester Development:
The Miracle of Life: Understanding Baby's Development in the First Trimester
The journey of pregnancy is a remarkable and transformative experience for both parents-to-be. One of the most exciting phases is the first trimester, which spans from conception to the end of the 13th week. During this time, an incredible and intricate process unfolds as a tiny cluster of cells rapidly grows into a complex human being. Let's explore the fascinating world of a baby's development in the first trimester.
Week 1-2: Conception and Fertilization
The first trimester technically begins on the first day of your last menstrual period (LMP), even though conception typically occurs two weeks later. It's a bit confusing, but it's important to establish a consistent way to date pregnancies. Conception happens when a sperm cell successfully fertilizes an egg, forming a single cell known as a zygote.
Week 3: Formation of the Blastocyst
By the end of the third week, the fertilized egg has become a blastocyst, a hollow structure consisting of about 100 cells. This blastocyst will eventually implant into the uterine wall, marking the beginning of the embryonic stage.
Week 4-5: Implantation and Development of the Embryo
During the fourth and fifth weeks, the blastocyst embeds itself into the uterine lining, where it will receive nutrients and oxygen. This process is crucial for the embryo's survival. The embryo begins to develop the neural tube, which eventually becomes the brain and spinal cord. The heart starts to beat at 6 weeks, and the foundation for the circulatory system, backbone, and digestive system is established.
Week 6-7: Formation of Organs and Facial Features
In the sixth and seventh weeks, the embryo continues to transform rapidly. It's now about the size of a grain of rice. Key organs, such as the liver, kidney, and heart, are forming, and the facial features, including the eyes and nose, become more defined. Limb buds appear, marking the early stages of arm and leg development.
Week 8-9: Fetal Development Takes Shape
As you enter the eighth and ninth weeks of pregnancy, the embryo graduates to the fetal stage. This means that it's no longer an embryo but rather a developing fetus. The baby's organs continue to mature, and the beginnings of fingers and toes appear. The fetus is now about the size of a grape.
Week 10-13: Rapid Growth and Development
In the final weeks of the first trimester, the fetus undergoes rapid growth. By week 10, it's about the size of a strawberry. Fingers and toes are now fully formed, and the fetus can make tiny, involuntary movements. The sex organs begin to differentiate, although it's still challenging to determine the baby's gender through an ultrasound at this stage.
The first trimester of pregnancy is an incredible journey of development from a single cell to a fully formed fetus. The complexity of this process is a testament to the miracle of life. As a parent, you may not feel the baby's movements or see a visible bump, but beneath the surface, an astonishing transformation is taking place. Understanding this early development can deepen your appreciation for the remarkable journey of pregnancy.
2nd Trimester Development:
The Magical Second Trimester: Your Baby's Development Unveiled
Pregnancy is a miraculous journey, and each trimester brings with it a unique set of milestones in your baby's development. The second trimester, which spans from weeks 13 to 27, is often hailed as the "golden period" of pregnancy. During this time, you and your growing baby will experience significant changes and milestones. In this blog, we will explore the incredible journey of your baby's development in the second trimester.
Weeks 13-16: The Growth Spurt
The second trimester typically begins around the 13th week of pregnancy. By this time, your baby is already about the size of a peach. During these weeks, they go through a substantial growth spurt. Their tiny organs continue to develop, and they start to move and squirm within the amniotic sac, although you won't feel it just yet.
One of the most exciting milestones during this period is the formation of your baby's gender-specific reproductive organs. Although gender can usually be determined via ultrasound around week 15, the development of these organs begins during the second trimester.
Weeks 17-20: Feeling the Flutter
Around week 18, many mothers-to-be experience their first flutters of fetal movement. These gentle sensations are often described as feeling like butterflies or bubbles in your belly. These early movements are a sign that your baby's muscular and nervous systems are becoming more developed.
Week 20 is also a significant milestone, as it's when the anatomy scan is typically performed. This detailed ultrasound reveals the baby's growth and checks for any physical abnormalities.
Weeks 21-24: Senses Awaken
Your baby's sensory development truly kicks into high gear during these weeks. They begin to develop a sense of touch as their skin becomes less transparent and more opaque. The nervous system is maturing, allowing them to make stronger and more coordinated movements.
By week 24, the baby's hearing becomes more acute. They can now hear your voice, heartbeat, and other sounds from the outside world. Some studies even suggest that babies in the womb can recognize familiar voices, which is a heartwarming thought for expectant parents.
Weeks 25-27: Rapid Brain Growth
As the second trimester nears its end, your baby's brain is growing at an astonishing rate. Neurons are forming rapidly, and their brain structure becomes more complex. Your baby's eyes also begin to open, though their vision is still quite limited at this stage.
By the 27th week, your baby's lungs continue to mature, and they start to practice breathing movements, although they won't take their first breath until birth. Their skin becomes less wrinkled as they accumulate fat under the skin, which helps regulate body temperature.
The second trimester is an incredible time in your pregnancy journey. Your baby's development is marked by significant growth, sensory awakening, and the formation of their unique identity. As you progress through these weeks, the bond between you and your baby continues to strengthen, and you'll be eagerly awaiting the moment you finally get to meet your little one.
As you experience the changes in your body and your baby's growth, remember to take care of yourself by maintaining a healthy lifestyle and attending regular prenatal check-ups. Cherish these moments, as they are the building blocks of your child's future. The third trimester is just around the corner, bringing even more excitement and anticipation as you prepare to welcome your new arrival.
3rd Trimester Development:
The Incredible Journey: Baby's Development in the 3rd Trimester
The third trimester of pregnancy is a remarkable and pivotal period when your baby undergoes significant growth and development. As you eagerly anticipate the arrival of your little one, it's essential to understand the incredible changes happening within your womb during this final stretch. In this blog, we will explore the key milestones and developments that occur during the third trimester.
Week 28 to 32: The Growth Spurt
By the time you enter the third trimester, your baby has already formed all of their major organs and body systems. Now, it's time for a growth spurt! Here are some key developments during this stage:
Week 32 to 36: Preparing for Birth
As you approach the finish line of your pregnancy, your baby is getting ready for the outside world. Here's what's happening:
Week 36 to 40: The Final Countdown
During the final weeks of your pregnancy, your baby is nearly ready for life outside the womb. Here's what's happening:
The third trimester is a time of tremendous growth and development for your baby, preparing them for the incredible journey of life outside the womb. As you approach your due date, it's essential to monitor your health and communicate with your healthcare provider to ensure the best outcome for both you and your baby. Your body has done an amazing job nurturing and supporting your growing child throughout this trimester, and soon, you'll be holding your precious newborn in your arms. Enjoy these last moments of pregnancy and look forward to the incredible adventure of parenthood that awaits you.
What would I have done differently, if I had known from the beginning:
1- Prenatal Vitamins and Folic Acid:
It's a good idea to start taking these PRIOR to becoming pregnant. They help get your body ready to support a pregnancy.
2- Get in shape. Ok, ok- I know this sounds completely counterintuitive. But hear me out. Your body is about to do the MOST ATHLETIC THING that you have probably ever done in your entire life. It's about to deliver a baby. If I knew then, what I know now, I would have made an effort to be in the gym doing cardio, and strength training. It is not only helpful for the actual delivery, but will put you in better mental and physical health during your pregnancy. And continue to work out, even while pregnant. (Consult your doctor, of course.) You won't be able to bench press 200 pounds, lol, but you can still do some cardio, mild strength training, and stretching. Do LOTS of stretching! Keep all your muscles and ligaments loose and limber. This will help you when you are in active labor, pushing to deliver your baby. Yoga is great for stretching every day! You can do this in your family room, or at a gym. Just stick with it, and try to -at the very least- do mild stretching daily.
3- Stretch Marks: Your skin NEEDS to be able to stretch during pregnancy. As I mentioned previously, use Coca Butter. And use it a lot. Multiple times per day- and use it all over your body. (Your stomach will not be the only part of your body that grows!) By having your skin very soft and supple, it can easily stretch without permanently damaging your skin.
4- Take a nap! Stop feeling guilty about napping. Your body needs rest, and it's telling you to shut down more frequently.
5- Put your feet up. Seriously, elevate them up a bit. Your body will need some help getting the fluid not to settle in your ankles. By elevating your feet, you are helping your whole circulatory system.
6- Baby Registry: Wow, there were SOOOO many items on my registry that I didn't actually need. By the time I had our 3rd baby, I realized I only needed a fraction of the actual items.
7- ok then smarty pants, what do I register for? Well, since you asked, if I were going to have a 4th baby, this is what it would look like for me:
Big items: infant carseat, stroller, baby bathtub, highchair, basinet, case of newborn diapers, case of new born wipes.
Small items: 10 pacifiers with different nipple shapes, (to see which one baby prefers,) 10 burp cloths, 10 onesies, 10 baby socks, 10 baby pajama sleepers in the form of the 'zip up sleeping bag.' (I found those were easiest to change baby in the middle of the night.) A box of nursing pads, (if you are breastfeeding,) or a case of bottles and formula if you are formula feeding.
Of course everyone will want to buy the baby cute clothes, which is wonderful! But most days, especially in the beginning, I feel like we both lived in our pajamas.
I hope this info was helpful to you!
Good question- you may just be experiencing
normal pregnancy symptoms, so sometimes it can be hard to know when you should call your doctor. (I get it- been there myself!)
** What if I am having some bleeding? **
This is a good example of when you should call your doctor. Try not to panic- sometimes a little bit of breakthrough bleeding is normal. However, it is always best to let your doctor know. They may send you to get an ultrasound either in their office, or at a hospital if they aren't open. This type of ultrasound is called a Viability Check. They will look to make sure that baby is ok in there.
** I'm at the end of my pregnancy, and my back is killing me- should I call the doctor? **
Yupper- this could be something known as Back Labor. Some women will have extreme back pain, and it is actually labor pains. Your little baby might be getting ready to make their appearance! This would be a good time to call your doctor to let them know. They might send you to the hospital to be evaluated, to see if you are actually in labor.
My advice- moisturize.
Moisturizing is a HUGE deal. Personally, I used cocoa butter.
Lather it on Multiple times per day. Do it religiously. Do NOT skip a day.
Be sure to lather up your belly, your chest, your thighs, and your butt.
Seriously, do this several times per day.
The more supple you can make your skin, the easier time is has stretching. It is possible to have your skin stretch for your pregnancy, without leaving permanent stretch marks!
** I heard you can tell Baby's Gender if you... **
I've heard them all. Lunar Calendar. Engagement ring on a string test. The Nub Theory. The Ramzi Theory. Baby high in the belly. Baby low in the belly. Mom having acne. Heartburn. Literally I've heard them all.
In my experience:
My first baby: carried High, I didn't have acne, didn't feel super sick:
Baby was a GIRL.
My second baby: carried Low, was sick, developed allergies & asthma:
Baby was another GIRL.
My third baby: carried High, no acne, not sick- very similar to my 1st pregnancy:
Baby was a BOY.
I tell you this to demonstrate that every pregnancy is different, even with the same mother.
My best advice to you is that there are only a few ways to really be sure: See it with ultrasound, or have the blood test done.
** How does the Gender Test work when Mom has a blood test done? **
Good question. The science behind the test is this:
As women, we only carry the X gene. When the blood test is done, they are looking for the Y gene. Since baby's blood is found in mom's bloodstream, if a Y gene is found, then that means that the baby is a Boy! If no Y gene is found, then that means that baby is a Girl. Any questions about this, feel free to message me! I'm always happy to help. :)
Chapstick, snacks, your hairbrush, pony tail holder, bathrobe, slippers, phone charger, shampoo and conditioner, toothpaste, toothbrush, full bottom underwear, socks, comfy clothes, nursing nightgown, (if you plan to nurse.)
Now on to what you might want for actual labor:
* Early Labor- is a time when you are starting to have some light contractions, and some cramping. It is an exciting time! And also, you want to stay nice and calm. So for this stage of Labor, I found it VERY helpful to have some calming smelling lotions. My favorite lotion smell was warm vanilla sugar. Also, lavender is another calming smell you could use. (I found both of these at Bath and Body Works.) Just put a little bit of lotion on your hands, and rub them together in front of your face. Close your eyes, breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth. Concentrate on your breathing, and staying nice and calm. The warm vanilla sugar lotion truly helped with this stage of Labor for me. (People probably also use things like essential oils, but I do not have any experience with that.)
* Active Labor- well, this is when things are starting to really happen. The contractions are closer together and stronger. I won't lie, this is tiring. You will need your strength soon to deliver the baby. During this Active Labor stage, girl, you need to be invigorated! You need to snap up, and be wide awake! (Think about this- close your eyes, and imagine ripping open an orange, right on front of your nose. That citrus smell is invigorating, right?!) You can reproduce this sensation with some tangerine or orange smelling lotion. Anything citrus should do the trick! (Also from Bath and Body Works.)
I also recommend some breath mints, and various chewing gums. (Think cinnamon gum for the Active Labor phase!) I hope this was helpful for you- it worked wonders for me!
Ok- more advice:
As a general rule of thumb, Google is not your friend.
I know it is very tempting to search til all hours of the night.
And yes- there is a TON of great information out there.
But sometimes there's just too much info, inaccurate info, or
Try to take everything with a grain of salt, as they say.
And try not to drive your anxiety through the roof.
Your mental health is super important. If you have any specific questions or concerns during your pregnancy, the only proper person to consult, is your doctor.
If you are going through this right now, I am so sorry... my heart breaks for you and your family.
If you are in need of a second opinion, confirmation, or just need someone to explain what is happening, and what needs to happen next- I can help with that. I promise to be caring and compassionate; and to take the time you need to spend seeing your baby before you have to take the next steps. Feel free to reach out through text with any questions, or to schedule an appointment. 585-673-0003
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