All about pregnancy signs and symptoms of pregnancy pregnancy tests home pregnancy test pregnancy stages first trimester of pregnancy second trimester of pregnancy third trimester of pregnancy calculating pregnancy due date prenatal diagnosis healthy pregnancy diet nutrition during pregnancy exercise during pregnancy spotting during pregnancy bleeding during pregnancy smoking during pregnancy sex during pregnancy prenatal care teenage pregnancy twins and multiple births childbirth obstetrics pregnancy ultrasound Chinese lunar pregnancy calendar (Chinese gender chart) fertility charting ovulation: calendar, prediction, test getting pregnant gender selection prenatal tests genetic screening genetic counseling birth control (contraception, pregnancy prevention) male condoms female condoms diaphragm cervical cap birth control pills Norplant Depo Provera spermicides emergency contraceptive pill (morning-after pill) natural family planning intrauterine device (IUD) birth control patch sterilization (vasectomy) fertility awareness method (FAM) abstinence pre-eclampsia, eclampsia HELLP syndrome intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) premature birth stillbirth Caesarean section preterm labor Rh incompatibility (erythroblastosis fetalis) ectopic pregnancy pregnancy diabetes (gestational diabetes) group B strep morning sickness (NVP) hyperemesis gravidarum miscarriage (spontaneous abortion) postpartum hemorrhage pregnancy-induced hypertension Pica
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Second trimester of pregnancy
In the second trimester the embryo, now known as a fetus, is recognisable as human in form, but is not developed enough to be viable if born. The second trimester is often called the planning trimester. For most women, the fatigue and nausea from the first trimester ease, and she has a good amount of energy, and has not grown enough to be uncomfortable. This allows them to shop, start on the nursery, and get many things done that will be harder to do as she continues to grow. This trimester is also full of excitement. During the beginning to middle of this trimester is when the
mother experiences quickening, which is feeling those first movements of the growing baby. The second trimester marks a turning point for mother and fetus. The mother usually begins to feel better and will start showing the pregnancy more. The fetus has now developed all its organs and systems and will now focus on growing in size and weight.During the second trimester, the umbilical cord continues to thicken as it carries nourishment to the fetus. However, harmful substances also pass through the umbilical cord to the fetus, so care should be taken to avoid alcohol, tobacco, and other known hazards. During the second trimester, both the mother's body and the fetus continue to grow.
Fetal development during the second trimester
Now that all the major organs and systems have formed in the fetus, the following six months will be spent growing. The weight of the fetus will multiply more than seven times over the next few months, as the fetus becomes a baby that can survive outside of the uterus. By the end of the second trimester, the fetus will be about 13 to 16 inches long and weighs about 2 to 3 pounds. Fetal development during the second trimester includes the following: The fetus kicks, moves, and can turn from side to side. The eyes have been gradually moving to the front of the face and the ears have moved from the neck to the sides of the head. The fetus can hear the mother's voice. A creamy white substance (called vernix caseosa, or simply vernix) begins to appear on the fetus and helps to protect the thin fetal skin. Vernix is gradually absorbed by the skin, but some may be seen on babies even after birth. The fetus is developing reflexes such as swallowing and sucking. The fetus can respond to certain stimuli. The placenta is fully developed. The brain will undergo its most important period of growth from the 5th month on. Fingernails have grown on the tips of the fingers and toes, and the fingers and toes are fully separated. The fetus goes through cycles of sleep and wakefulness. Skin is wrinkly and red, covered with soft, downy hair (called lanugo). Hair is growing on the head of the fetus. Fat begins to form on the fetus. Eyelids are beginning to open and the eyebrows and eyelashes are visible. Fingerprints and toeprints have formed. Rapid growth is continuing in fetal size and weight. The 20th week marks the halfway point of the pregnancy. A fetus born at the end of 24 weeks may survive in a neonatal intensive care unit.
Changes in the mother's body
For most women, the main discomforts of the first trimester lessen as she enters the second trimester. Most women experience more energy and less nausea, but other discomforts are increasing. In the second trimester, women typically experience skin changes, forgetfulness, swelling, clumsiness, backaches, nosebleeds, constipation, heartburn, and hemorrhoids. It is normal for a woman in the second trimester to be somewhat forgetful and have trouble concentrating. For many women, their emotions start to stabilize during the second trimester. As she starts to show and then starts to feel the baby move, the pregnancy becomes more real and exciting. As her energy increases, she is able to make use of this excitement to begin to prepare for the coming arrival. This is the time when many women begin to “feel” pregnant. Regular clothes begin to not fit very well, and the switch is made to maternity clothes. As the baby grows, and the mother starts to show, it starts to become obvious to the world that she is pregnant. For most women the second trimester is a very exciting time. She is starting to feel pregnant, but is not yet so big as to be uncomfortable. Weight gain in the second trimester should be about a pound a week. Women who are underweight or overweight before pregnancy should consult with their healthcare provider to stay within a recommended weight gain specific for their situation. Darkening of the skin pigment may occur because of the pregnancy hormones. Some women get darkening of the skin on the face, known as the mask of pregnancy. Many women notice a dark line down the middle of their abdomen. These color changes should disappear shortly after the baby is born. Constipation can become a problem. Relieve constipation by drinking plenty of fluids, eating a diet higher in fiber and getting regular exercise. Hemorrhoids can result if constipation isn't resolved. Varicose veins (swollen/bluish veins usually in the legs) occur in some women. To help prevent this problem, avoid sitting or standing for long periods of time, don't put on excess weight, be sure to walk or do other regular exercise, try wearing supportive pantyhose, and don't smoke. Headaches may occur more frequently. Try to get enough rest and relaxation. Be conscientious of good posture. Massage the neck, shoulders and head. If you need a pain reliever, be sure to check the safety with your doctor. Most over-the-counter pain relievers are not recommended during pregnancy. Backaches can occur as the enlarging belly affects your posture. Wear supportive shoes, not high heals. Gain appropriate amounts of weight, but not excess weight. Don't stand or sit for extended periods of time. Do exercises that are designed to improve muscle tone and posture during pregnancy. Sometimes a nerve in the hip/buttocks area (sciatic nerve) gets pinched because of pressure exerted on it. Special stretching exercises may help.
Prenatal medical visits during second trimester
Prenatal appointments in the second trimester should continue to occur every 4 to 6 weeks, unless complications arise. You will likely be seeing your health care provider once a month. You will have your weight and blood pressure checked at each visit. You will have your urine tested for sugar and protein at each visit. The fetal heartbeat will be monitored. Your health care provider will feel the size and shape of your uterus by pressing on your stomach. The fundus will be measured. This measures the size of the uterus and where it is situated in your abdomen. Any complaints or health concerns can be discussed at your medical visits. Be sure to bring a list of your questions to your prenatal medical visits.
Following tests will need to be done:Alphafetoprotein (AFP) screening test. This tests helps to detect neural tube defects which affect the spine and brain of the fetus.
A blood test to screen for diabetes is done between weeks 24-28. A sugary drink is taken and the lab tests your blood sugar levels at specific intervals. (Some women who are at higher risk for developing diabetes during pregnancy are screened earlier).
An antibody test is done for Rh-negative women.
Complete blood counts to check for anemia.
An ultrasound (sonogram) may be done around the 20th week to view the baby and the position of the placenta. Certain handicaps can be detected with ultrasound.
More information on pregnancy
Pregnancy - Pregnancy is period of time between fertilization of the ovum (conception) and birth, during which mammals carry their developing young in the uterus (see embryo).
Pregnancy signs and symptoms - During pregnancy a woman's body undergoes a number of changes to allow the fetus to develop inside the womb. The symptoms of pregnancy vary from woman to woman.
Pregnancy tests - A pregnancy test is a test of blood or urine used to determine whether a woman is pregnant. There are two types of pregnancy tests - blood and urine tests.
Home pregnancy test - A home pregnancy test measures the presence of the hormone human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) in your urine. All home pregnancy test kits test your pregnancy on the basis of your urine sample.
Pregnancy stages - There are three stages of pregnancy called trimesters. Each trimester is three months. The word "trimester" comes from a Latin word meaning "three months long."
First trimester of pregnancy - First trimester pregnancy is the early stage of pregnancy from conception to 12 weeks gestation, or about 14 weeks from the first day of the last normal menstrual period (LNMP).
Second trimester of pregnancy - In the second trimester the embryo, now known as a fetus, is recognisable as human in form, but is not developed enough to be viable if born. The second trimester is often called the planning trimester.
Third trimester of pregnancy - The third trimester of pregnancy lasts from 28 weeks after your last menstrual period (LMP) until the birth, which usually occurs between the 38th and 42nd weeks of pregnancy.
Calculating pregnancy due date - The due date is usually computed from the first day of the last regular period. In the calendar, this can be figured by taking that date, subtracting three months, and adding seven days.
Prenatal diagnosis - Prenatal diagnosis is the process of detecting and diagnosing fetal abnormalities before birth. A targeted prenatal diagnosis is done when there is a concrete suspicion that there might be a particular disorder.
Healthy pregnancy diet - A balanced diet is key to having a healthy pregnancy. Pregnancy places substantial demands on the availability of iron in the body.
Nutrition during pregnancy - Nutrition is an essential component of prenatal care. During pregnancy, your body needs more nutrients in order to provide a baby with what it needs. Eat enough food to gain weight at the rate recommended by your health care provider.
Exercise during pregnancy - Exercise plays an important role in promoting health and well-being for pregnant women. Excessive levels of physical activity in pregnancy can reduce fetal growth and increase the risk of preterm delivery.
Spotting during pregnancy - Spotting is light bleeding similar to your period and it can happen at any time during pregnancy, but it is most common during the first trimester.
Bleeding during pregnancy - Bleeding from the vagina in early pregnancy is very common. First trimester bleeding is any vaginal bleeding during the first 3 months of pregnancy.
Smoking during pregnancy - Cigarette smoking during pregnancy can cause serious health problems to an unborn child. Many complications of pregnancy are more likely to occur in smokers.
Sex during pregnancy - Sex and sexual intercourse are not harmful during pregnancy. For most women and their partners, sex during pregnancy is fine as long as both partners consent and are comfortable.
Prenatal care - Prenatal care is the health care that a woman receives before her baby is born. Prenatal care is provided for women during the period between conception and birth of the baby.
Teenage pregnancy - Teenage pregnancy is a pregnancy that occurs in an adolescent. Babies born to teenagers are at risk for neglect and abuse.
Twins and multiple birth - Multiple pregnancies are on the rise in recent years with more and more twins and other types of multiples being born. A multiple birth is when more than one human baby results from a single pregnancy.
Childbirth - Childbirth (also called labour, birth, or parturition) is the culmination of pregnancy, the emergence of a child from its mother's uterus.
Obstetrics - Obstetrics is the surgical specialty dealing with the care of a woman and her offspring during pregnancy, childbirth and the puerperium (the period shortly after birth).
Pregnancy ultrasound - Pregnancy ultrasound is a method of imaging the fetus and the female pelvic organs during pregnancy.
Chinese lunar pregnancy calendar - The Chinese pregnancy calendar was allegedly discovered about 700 years ago. The accuracy of the chart has been proved by thousands of people and is believed to be 99 percent accurate.
Fertility charting - Fertility charting allows you to predict ovulation, pinpoint your most fertile time in your cycle, and increase your chances of becoming pregnant.
Ovulation: calendar, prediction, test - Ovulation is the process of discharging a mature ovum (egg) from an ovary after a Graafian follicle - representing the final stage of follicular development before ovulation - has been formed.
Getting pregnant - The best or most fertile time to get pregnant is the period of ovulation in your menstrual cycle. Most women ovulate (release an egg from the ovary) about two weeks before their period.
Gender selection - There are three main techniques of sex selection: pre-natal testing and termination of pregnancy, pre-implantation genetic testing of embryos, and sperm sorting.
Prenatal tests - Prenatal tests are one of the many ways your practitioner can check on the well-being of your growing baby and find out whether you're at risk for complications.
Genetic screening - Genetic screening is a process used to find out what diseases or birth defects a child might inherit from his or her parents.
Genetic counseling - Genetic counseling is the process of determining the risk you have of passing on an inheritable disease to your baby.
Birth control (contraception, pregnancy prevention) - Birth control is the practice of preventing or reducing the probability of pregnancy without abstaining from sexual intercourse; the term is also sometimes used to include abortion.
Male condoms - Condoms are thin barriers made of latex, plastic, or natural membranes. The male condom fits over a man's penis. The female condom fits inside a woman's vagina.
Female condoms - The female condom is a polyurethane sheath or pouch about 17 cm (6.5 inches) in length. It is worn by a woman during sex.
Diaphragm - A diaphragm is a rubber disc a woman places into her vagina. The diaphragm blocks a man's semen from entering the cervix (the opening to the womb).
Cervical cap - The cervical cap is a small latex cup that a woman inserts into her vagina before sexual intercourse. The cervical cap fits snugly over the woman's cervix.
Birth control pills - The birth control pill is a small, usually white, tablet that is taken orally (by mouth). The pill usually comes in a packet that has days marked off for a cycle lasting about a month.
Norplant - Contraceptive implants (Norplant?) are six match stick size implants inserted into the upper arm. Norplant is a form of progestin that is placed under the skin.
Depo Provera - Depo Provera is a hormone, much like the progesterone a woman produces during the last two weeks of each monthly cycle. Depo-Provera or progesterone stops the woman's ovaries from releasing an egg.
Spermicides - Spermicides are chemicals that make the sperm unable to function. Spermicide can be used alone or with other birth control methods to reduce the risk of pregnancy.
Emergency contraceptive pill - Emergency contraception is the use of certain methods after unprotected intercourse to prevent pregnancy.
Natural family planning - Natural family planning is defined as the understanding and use of the natural phases of fertility and infertility by a couple in order to either achieve or avoid pregnancy.
Intrauterine device (IUD) - An intrauterine device (intra meaning within, and uterine meaning of the uterus), is a birth control device also known as an IUD or a coil.
Birth control patch - The birth control patch is a thin plastic patch (1 3/4 inch square) placed directly on the skin of the woman. It is a hormonal method of contraception obtained by prescription.
Sterilization (vasectomy) - Sterilization is a surgical technique leaving a male or female unable to procreate. It is a method of birth control.
Fertility awareness method (FAM) - Fertility awareness is a means of understanding a woman's reproductive cycle by observing and writing down fertility signs.
Abstinence - Periodic abstinence is a way that sexually active women prevent pregnancy by becoming familiar with their fertility patterns and abstaining from vaginal intercourse on the days they think they could become pregnant.
Pre-eclampsia, eclampsia - Pre-eclampsia is a condition which only occurs during pregnancy. It causes high blood pressure, protein leaks from the kidneys, and other symptoms may develop.
HELLP Syndrome - The HELLP syndrome is a complication of pregnancy featuring a combination of abnormal conditions including emolysis, elevated liver enzymes, and low platelet count.
Intrauterine growth restriction - Intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) refers to the condition in which a foetus is unable to grow to its genetically determined potential size to a degree that may affect the health of the foetus.
Premature birth - Premature birth is defined medically as a birth occurring earlier than 37 weeks. Infants born prematurely have an increased risk of death in the first year of life.
Stillbirth - Stillbirth refers to the death of a baby after 24 weeks of pregnancy but before birth. A pregnancy that ends before the twentieth week is called a miscarriage rather than a stillbirth.
Caesarean section - A Caesarean section (Cesarean section AE), is a surgical procedure to deliver one or more babies through an incision in the mother's abdomen and uterus.
Preterm labor - Preterm labor, or premature labor, is when the uterus (womb) contracts and the cervix opens earlier than normal.
Rh incompatibility - Rh incompatibility is a condition that occurs when the mother of a fetus or newborn has Rh-negative blood type and the fetus or newborn has Rh-positive blood.
Ectopic pregnancy - An ectopic pregnancy is one in which the fertilized ovum is implanted in any tissue other than the uterine wall.
Pregnancy diabetes (gestational diabetes) - Gestational diabetes is a condition in which the glucose level is elevated and other diabetic symptoms appear during pregnancy in a woman who has not previously been diagnosed with diabetes.
Group B strep - Group B streptococcus (group B strep) is a type of bacteria that causes infection among newborns, pregnant women or women after childbirth.
Morning sickness (NVP) - Morning sickness, also called nausea and vomiting of pregnancy (NVP), affects between 50 and 85 percent of all pregnant women.
Hyperemesis gravidarum - Hyperemesis gravidarum means excessive vomiting during pregnancy. The severe vomiting associated with hyperemesis gravidarum requires medical attention.
Miscarriage (spontaneous abortion) - Miscarriage is the term used for a pregnancy that ends on it's own, within the first 20 weeks of gestation.
Postpartum hemorrhage - Postpartum bleeding (severe postpartum bleeding) is the loss of more than a pint of blood within the first 24 hours after delivering a baby.
Pregnancy-induced hypertension - Pregnancy-induced hypertension (also referred to as toxemia, preeclampsia and eclampsia) is a condition that may develop during the second half of a woman's pregnancy.
Pica - Pica is a pattern of eating non-nutritive substances (such as dirt or paper), lasting for at least one month.