2 Early Signs of Pregnancy A missed menstrual periodA full feeling or mild ache in the lower abdomenFeeling tired or faintA frequent, urgent need to urinateSwollen breasts causing discomfort or tendernessNausea and/or vomiting, particularly in the morning
3 Medical Care During Pregnancy Obstetrician – doctor who specializes in pregnancy and childbirthIt important to get a doctor you feel comfortable with. He/She will be caring for you and your newborn. Some offices want you to get to know all the doctors in the practice in case they have to see you if your doctor is not on duty.Most obstetricians set a fee that includes everything from the first visit to the follow-up visit after the baby is born.It is important to get medical care from the beginning to the end of pregnancy.
4 The First ExamWhen a pregnancy is confirmed, the woman receives an exam that includes:A check of her blood pressure, pulse, respiration, and weightA discussion of her medical historyA measurement of her pelvis to determine if a normal size baby can pass throughAn analysis of her urine to test for signs of diabetes or infection
5 The First Exam (cont.)Blood tests to rule our anemia, a condition which results from not having enough red blood cellsBlood testing for Rh factor. This is a protein that is determined genetically. If the mother’s blood is Rh negative (absence of protein) and the fetus’s blood is Rh postive (has the protein), the mother’s blood builds up antibodies to attack the protein just as it would to any invading germ. This doesn’t affect the first pregnancy, but could endanger any later pregnancies. But, the mother can receive an injection that will prevent the antibodies from forming and protect the fetus.
6 The First Exam (cont.)A check of the woman’s immunity to rubella (German measles).The due date for a baby is easy to calculate. Nine months and one week after the first day of her final period before pregnancy. A typical pregnancy can vary from two weeks before to two weeks after that due date.
7 Later CheckupsBetween the 24th and 28th week, most women take a glucose tolerance test to check for signs of gestational diabetes. This is a condition that only occurs in pregnancy. If left untreated, the baby could be born heavier than what is considered a normal birth weight. Most women who have this normally do not have diabetes. This condition usually goes away after pregnancy. Gestational diabetes can be controlled through a special diet.
8 Later Checkups (cont.)Another condition that may occur is preeclampsia. This condition is characterized by high blood pressure and the presence of protein in the mother’s urine. Preeclampsia can prevent the baby from getting enough blood which provides oxygen and food. Depending on how far along the woman is with her pregnancy, the doctor can recommend medication or bed rest.
9 Discomforts of Pregnancy Nausea and/or vomiting – rarely lasts beyond the fourth month.Sleepiness – most common in the early and late months.Heartburn – Burning in the upper abdomenShortness of breath – pressure on the lungs from the babyVaricose veins – Twisted or enlarged veins that are close to the skin’s surface. Woman can relieve the swelling with support hose and keeping legs elevated.
10 Discomforts of Pregnancy (cont.) Muscle cramps in legs – Get rest and stretch legsLower back pain – Wearing low-heeled shoes and learning to lift properly can minimize back problems
11 Possible Serious Complications Any of the following symptoms should be reported to the doctor immediately:Vaginal bleedingUnusual weight gain or lossExcessive thirstDiminished need to urinate or pain during urinationSevere abdominal pain
12 Possible Serious Complications (cont.) Persistent headachesSevere vomitingFeverIncreased vaginal mucusSwelling of face, hands, or anklesBlurred vision or dizzinessProlonged backache
13 Nutrition During Pregnancy Protein – Vital to baby’s growth and development of bones and teeth—found in meats, poultry, fish, eggs, nuts, dried beans, milk, and cheeseVitamins – Women need twice the normal amount of folic acid for normal spinal development. Vitamin A assists in eye development, Vitamin B in general development, and Vitamin C in skin, bones, and organs, and Vitamin D in bones and teeth—found in fruits, vegetables, whole grain breads and cereals, fortified milk and other dairy products.
14 Nutrition During Pregnancy (cont.) Minerals – Help produce strong bones and teeth and ensure regular elimination of waste from the body. Also, pregnant women regularly need iron to prevent anemia—found in dried beans, raisins, dates, meat, and leafy green vegetables.Carbohydrates and fats – Provide the body with energy—found in whole-grain breads and cereals, fruits, and starchy vegetables such as potatoes. Sugars are carbs, but should be eaten in moderation. Foods high in fats (fried foods) should be avoided.
15 Nutrition in TeensSince teenagers’ bodies are still developing, pregnant teens have special nutritional needs. Teens tend to fill up on high-calorie, low nutrient foods. It is important for pregnant teens to get plenty of the necessary nutrients for proper growth and development. (See p. 154)
16 Special DietsWomen who are lactose intolerant have abdominal pain and gas when eating milk products. They should get their calcium intake from other calcium enriched foods such as broccoli, leafy green vegetables, or tofu. They can also take lactase, which is an enzyme that helps digest the lactose.Vegetarians don’t eat meat which is high in protein. Instead, they should eat plenty of dried beans, nuts, nut butters, and tofu to get their protein.
17 Weight Gain During Pregnancy Women typically gain about pounds during pregnancy.In the first 3 months, some don’t gain any weight or lose weight because of morning sickness.Recommended weight gain is about a pound a month the first three months, then ½ pound each week every month after.Gaining too little weight could result in premature birth or fetal death.See p. 156.
18 Personal Care and Activities Get Plenty of Rest – take frequent napsExercise – walking, biking, or swimmingPractice Good Hygiene – Keep skin cleanMaternity clothes – see website
19 Emotional HealthPregnancy causes mood swings due to emotional changes. It is vital for a woman to talk about her feelings. See p. 158 for ways to alleviate stress.Depression – Expectant mothers who feel overwhelmed should seek professional help or find a good support group.