For any women, the positive result of pregnancy test brings
happiness and a moment to rejoice about becoming a mother. With this result a
new journey has begun for a woman. As the stages of pregnancy progresses, not
only the child grows but also leads to physical, psychological and lifestyle
changes in mother. Proper addressing of health concerns and pre natal cares are
absolutely essential during pregnancy.
Pregnancy has three stages comprising of first, second and
third trimester. Each and every stage is crucial for the fetus development. Usually,
pregnancy lasts around 40 weeks and this duration is counted from the last
First trimester comprises of duration from week 1 through
week 12. The offspring is called embryo during the first eight weeks and
subsequently is termed as fetus. The pregnancy is confirmed during this period
and the early symptoms may include nausea, vomiting, and missed periods. This
is the most crucial period of the pregnancy as the risks of miscarriage are high.
Week 13 to 28 comes under second trimester. This is the
easiest stage of the pregnancy cycle. The expectant mother feels more
energetic, as nausea and vomiting get minimized in this stage. During the
middle of this trimester, doctors usually check the progress of the baby
through ultra sound image techniques. The movement of fetus is also felt during
The last and third trimester lasts from week 29 to week 40. This
is the most challenging phase of the pregnancy. It is quite common to feel low
in energy level due to extra weight of fetus, repeated urges to urinate, and
anxiety. Frequent naps, rests, and relaxing techniques are quite essential
during this period.
Pregnancy term is considered between 37 weeks and 42 weeks.
The different stages of pregnancy terms are
- Preterm : Before 37 weeks
- Early term : 37 to 39 weeks
- Full term : 39 to 41 weeks
- Late term : 41 to 42 weeks
- Post term: After 42 weeks.
If not for medical
issues, planned delivery of a child is usually not considered before 39 weeks
of pregnancy. The probability of babies getting delivered by natural procedure is
highest during the full term. The onset of normal labour pain should be
awaited, as it is beneficial for both mother and the child. The medical
complication and risks for mother and child drastically increases as the stage
enters post terms. So, doctors usually induce labour during the late term, if
child birth does not occur during full term.
Health care comprising
of regular visits for checkups and prevention of potential health problems
during pregnancy is called prenatal care. Evaluation of fetus growth, guidance
for proper diet and vitamin intakes, medical examination of expectant mother
are some of the significant activities of prenatal care. It is statistically
proven that the proper prenatal care has drastically brought down the maternal death,
birth defects and miscarriages.
healthy food is not only important for the pregnant woman but also for the
baby’s growth and development.
- Folic acid is actually a magic
supplement prescribed by doctor before and during pregnancy to avoid birth
defects by helping in neural tube development. Production of red blood cells is
also aided by folic acid.
- Healthy and nutritious food like
fruits and vegetables, protein and dairy products are very much essential
during pregnancy period. A right combination of these foods makes a balanced
diet. Increase your intake of calories but avoid fatty and sugary foods.
- Intake of dairy products is important
for the calcium need. It has to be noted that during pregnancy, 1000-1300 mg of
calcium is required daily. So, consuming calcium rich foods for daily need
should be taken care of.
- Consume fiber rich foods which are
available in whole grains, fruits, and vegetables for easy digestion. There
should not be any deficiency in iodine, as it helps in brain and nervous system
development of baby. Consumption of food rich in vitamins A and C are
compulsory for pregnant women.
- Fortified cereals, milk, yogurt,
beans, legumes, whole grains, green leafy vegetables, other vegetables, and
fruits should be taken to get all vitamins and minerals during pregnancy. A
combination of nutrients can help the growth of the baby efficiently.
- Avoid caffeine content products like
coffee, tea, and dark chocolates. Deep fried food, processed and junk food are
definitely not advised by the doctors. Avoid unhealthy artificially flavored
juices or soda. Smoking and alcohol consumption are to be strictly avoided as
these may affect baby’s brain development.
- Eat freshly cooked food. Avoid
uncooked or undercooked eggs and also soft cheeses. The pathogens present in
these items are not good for the fetus. Certain sea foods like shark, king
mackerel, tilefish, and swordfish contain mercury and are best to be avoided. It
is always better to consult your obstetrician to get a planned and balanced
Pregnancy and Exercise:
- Exercise is good during pregnancy
except for those who are advised against it by doctors due to medical
complications. Generally pregnant ladies with asthma, heart disease, and high-blood
pressure, are advised to restrain from exercise. Histories of previous
miscarriages, low placenta, spotting, weak cervix are some of the medical
complications due to which doctors usually advice against exercise. It is always
better to follow the doctor’s advice on do and don’ts of physical activities.
- Those who do not have any medical
complications can do exercises but has to be done with proper care and not to
- Routine walking is a harmless
exercise and other exercises can be done under the supervision of instructors.
- Exercise helps to reduce back pain,
maintain proper weight, reduce the risk of diabetes during gestation period,
increase muscle strength, and also helps for better sleep. Exercise during
pregnancy also helps in reducing risk of any postpartum problems.
experience of pregnancy is best enjoyed by strictly adhering to the advices of
the doctor and practicing active and healthy life style.