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A HEALTHY PREGNANCY. E ARLY S IGNS OF P REGNANCY Within several weeks of conception, a woman will probably feel one or more of these early signs of pregnancy:

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Presentation on theme: "A HEALTHY PREGNANCY. E ARLY S IGNS OF P REGNANCY Within several weeks of conception, a woman will probably feel one or more of these early signs of pregnancy:"— Presentation transcript:


2 E ARLY S IGNS OF P REGNANCY Within several weeks of conception, a woman will probably feel one or more of these early signs of pregnancy:  A missed period.  A fullness or mild ache in the lower abdomen.  Feeling tired, drowsy or faint.  Frequent urination.  Discomfort or tenderness in breasts.  Periods of nausea, especially in the morning.

3 M EDICAL CARE DURING P REGNANCY  As soon as a woman suspects she is pregnant, she should see a doctor.  Some woman choose to see a general doctor, others choose to see an Obstetrician: a doctor who specializes in pregnancy and birth.

4 M EDICAL CARE DURING P REGNANCY  The pregnant woman and her doctor have an important relationship.  Frequent checkups will occur over the next nine months.  The doctor will also assist with labor and delivery. Therefore, it is important to choose a doctor you like and trust.

5 T HE I NITIAL E XAM When pregnancy has been confirmed, the woman has a thorough examination: 1. Doctor checks blood pressure, pulse, respiration, and initial weight. 2. The doctor asks about medical records and history. 3. Doctor measures pelvis to determine whether the birth passage way is wide enough to allow for normal vaginal delivery.

6 T HE I NITIAL E XAM 4. The doctor analyzes urine for the presence of infection, diabetes, or a condition called Preeclampsia: high blood pressure. 5. Doctor takes a blood test to see if mom has Anemia. A condition caused by lack of Iron- results in poor appetite, tiredness, and weakness.

7 T HE I NITIAL E XAM 6. The blood test is also used to test the Rh Factor in the blood.  A person’s blood is either Rh positive- having a certain protein or Rh negative- not having that protein.  Problems can arise if the mother’s blood lacks that protein and the fetus’s blood has it. In this case the mother’s blood will produce antibodies that attack the protein in the fetus’s blood as though it were a germ invading the mother’s body.

8 T HE I NITIAL E XAM 7. Doctor also checks for immunity to Rubella (the German Measles).  This disease can seriously harm a developing baby.  If mother has not had the disease or the vaccination she has to be careful not to come into contact with anyone who has Rubella. 8. The due date is set. The due date is 9 months and 1 week after the woman’s last menstrual period began.  Doctors advise that birth can very well take place from 2 weeks before to 2 weeks after the due date.

9 L ATER C HECKUPS  1-6 Months: 1 visit per month.  6-8 Months: 2 visits per month.  9 th Month: 1 visit per week.  These checkups are important in monitoring the development of the baby and making sure that the woman is healthy.  Most doctors welcome expectant fathers. Checkups are a good time for both parents to ask any questions that they might have.

10 D ISCOMFORTS OF PREGNANCY  Nausea: the most common complaint. Commonly called morning sickness, although it doesn’t only happen in the morning. Nausea rarely lasts beyond the 4 th month of pregnancy. If nausea is severe and/or prolonged, mother should consult her doctor.  Sleepiness: due to hormonal changes- it is fairly common in early pregnancy. Many woman feel less tired in the middle months of pregnancy, but sleepiness may return in the last months.

11 D ISCOMFORTS OF PREGNANCY  Heartburn: a burning feeling in the upper stomach. A woman who experiences heartburn should talk to her doctor to determine the safest source of relief.  Shortness of Breath: usually occurs because of pressure on the lungs from the growing baby.  Swollen Veins: occur from pressure on the blood vessels. Getting regular exercise, resting with the legs/ feet elevated, and using support stockings can help.

12 D ISCOMFORTS OF PREGNANCY  Muscle Cramps: occur often in the legs. Can be relieved by gentle stretching and rest. A diet rich in calcium & potassium may prevent these cramps.  Back Pain: during the last months of pregnancy may women experience back pain. Back problems can be minimized by wearing low-heeled shoes and bending the knees when lifting. Exercise can help relieve back ache.

13 P OSSIBLE C OMPLICATIONS A pregnant woman who has any of the following symptoms should report them to her doctor immediately: Vaginal Bleeding Unusual Weight Gain Excessive Thirst Reduced or Painful Urination Severe Abdominal Pain Increased Vaginal Mucus Persistent Headaches Severe Vomiting Fever Swelling of the face, hands, or ankles Blurred Vision or Dizziness

14 N UTRITION D URING P REGNANCY  Good nutrition is the single most important factor in prenatal care.  The baby depends on the mother to grow and develop.  By eating a balanced diet, a pregnant woman helps her baby and maintains her won health.

15 T HE R OLE OF N UTRIENTS  Proteins: vital for growth of the baby and helps keep the mother’s body in good repair. Because of the growing fetus, extra protein is needed.  Vitamins: Higher levels of vitamins are needed during pregnancy.  Folic Acid: need doubles during pregancy!  A diet lacking in vitamins increases the risk for birth defects.

16 T HE R OLE OF N UTRIENTS  Minerals: needed for sturdy bones and teeth, healthy blood, and regular elimination of waste products.  Iron: prevents anemia, helps the fetus build its own blood supply.  Carbohydrates & Fats: necessary for heat and energy.

17 W EIGHT G AIN D URING P REGNANCY  A woman usually gains 24-30 pounds during pregnancy.  1-3 months: mother may not gain weight at all.  4-6 months: weight gain is most important for the fetus.  Doctors recommend that a woman gain at least 20 pounds, unless before pregnancy they were overweight.

18 W EIGHT G AIN D URING P REGNANCY  A weight gain less than 20 pounds increases the risk of fetal death and premature birth.  Some woman develop diabetes while pregnant. This condition affects the body’s ability to burn energy. If not controlled, it can lead to very large size for the baby.

19 W EIGHT G AIN D URING P REGNANCY Weight of average baby at birth7-8 pounds Placenta1-2 Amniotic Fluid1 ½ - 2 Increased size of Uterus2 Increase in Breast Tissue1 Increase in Blood Volume1 ½ - 3 Increase in Fat Stores5 Increase in Body Fluids5-7 Total 24-30 pounds

20 P ERSONAL C ARE & A CTIVITIES  Rest: pregnant women need more rest. Taking frequent breaks during the day may revive energy.  Exercise: Moderate exercise can help keep an expecting mother in good physical condition- and help make the pregnancy more comfortable. Doctors recommend walking, swimming, or biking as good exercise during pregnancy.

21 P ERSONAL C ARE & A CTIVITIES  Hygiene: because the skin helps maintain correct body temperature and eliminate waste, it should be kept clean. Bathing just before bedtime also encourages relaxation and sleep.  A woman doesn’t need to change her lifestyle radically during pregnancy. However, moderation may be needed in some areas, but she can continue her life as before.

22 M ATERNITY CLOTHES  By about month 4-5, a woman usually begins to need special clothing.  Maternity clothes should be loose enough to allow for freedom of movement and circulation.  Skirts and pants may include a stretch panel for comfort.  Comfortable, low-heeled shoes with good support are recommended.

23 E MOTIONAL H EALTH D URING P REGNANCY  During pregnancy, expectant parents need to make emotional adjustments.  Pregnancy causes hormonal changes which can produce mood swings.  Even the most calm woman will feel upset and worried at times during pregnancy.  Effective techniques for reducing stress can help the woman bounce back when she’s feeling down:  Moderate Exercise, Deep Breathing, and Massaging.

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