- Family and Parenting
Who Is The Father?
So your 16 & pregnant, or close enough, and your'e not sure who the father is? Here's what to consider when making your best guess on who the father of your baby is, what to expect, and how to prepare, should you choose to have this baby.
When was your last period?
To determine the approximate date of conception (when you fell pregnant), think back to when you had your last period. The first day of your last period is when the date of conception is commonly estimated, before having an ultra-sound. If you have yet to go for your first ultra sound, assume that the date you fell pregnant was the first day of your last period.
Generally this method of estimation is fairly accurate, it might be out by a few days. But in some cases women have another period after they have already concieved. In this case the approximate date of conception will be out by typically a couple of weeks. If your last period was noticably irregular, ie; spotting, shorter than usual, lighter than usual, then there's a good chance that you concieved approximately a couple of weeks before the first day of your last period.
Have you been for an ultrasound scan?
If you have not already been for your first ultrasound, that is what you need to do next, your Dr. should make the appointment for you. You may go for your first ultrasound at 10-14 weeks into your pregnancy, this date will be based on the first day of your last period as the date of conception.
During your first ultrasound the length of body, the head, and limbs of your baby will be measured. This will determine a more accurate conception date than the method descibed above, and you will be told how far you are through your pregnancy. A normal pregnancy lasts 38-40 weeks until birth. You may go for a second ultrasound scan at 18+ weeks to find out the sex of the baby if you wish to know.
How much time is there between having sex with different people?
If it's weeks, or months, you should be able to make a good guess about who the father is. The father will most likely be the one who you had sex with closest to the date of conception. Although bear in mind that calculating your date of conception based on the first day of your last period, is only an estimate which may or may not be correct. When you go to have your first ultra-sound you will be given a more accurate estimate.
If the time between you having sex with different people is only a few days, sorry to tell you that the father could really be either guy, more or less a 50/50 chance. If this is the case, the potenial father's will need to have DNA tests to find out for sure.
When the baby is born, he or she may have facial features that are distinctly like one of the potenial father's, this might give you an idea who the father is before you have DNA tests done. Although you WILL need to have DNA tests done to be 100% certain.
What To Expect During Pregnancy
Weight gain. You can expect to put on 17.63-33 pounds (8-15kg) during your pregnancy. This is a healthy weight range, there are women who gain double the maximum of the healthy range. Excessive weight gain can cause complications during the birth of your baby, and of course make it much more difficult for you to lose the extra weight after having the baby.
Your body is going to change dramatically, be prepared to experience some potentially upsetting changes. Your butt is going to get bigger, your boobs are going to get huge and sore, you may get cellulite or stretchmarks on your thighs,butt,stomach, hips. To prevent damage to your skin, take very good care of it during pregnancy. Moisturize several times daily with a pregnancy body oil.
You are going to be hungry and eat more than usual. What you shouldn't do is eat for 2, your baby does not have the same sized stomach as you, therefore it is not healthy to each twice as much food as you usually would. You should eat only 1/5 - 2/5 more than what you usually would. It is important to eat healthy food, and there are foods which you should not eat as they could be potentially harmful to your baby. Those foods include; seafood, soft cheeses, undercooked eggs, peanuts, undercooked meat, energy drinks, caffeine, and of course no alchohol or smoking.
Moodiness. Don't be alarmed if you have mood swings from time to time where you feel sad, depressed, angry, cranky, on edge. These mood changes are completely normal and are due to the changing hormones in your body during pregnancy. Try not to dwell on negative emotions, they will pass.
You will get tired and low on energy. Don't push yourself to hard, take it easy and avoid lifting heavy objects. If you get tired take a nap throughout the day to bring your energy levels back up.
What to take to hospital/ How prepare for the arrival of your baby
Approaching your due date, you should have a bag of essential items that you will need to take to hospital with you. You will need;
Maternity bras (For convenience if breast feeding)
Breast pads (Your breasts are going to leak)
Sanitary pads (you will be bleeding after birth, you may not use tampons)
Several pairs of clean underwear
Comfotable clothes (Pj's, nightie/slip, sweat pants, loose fitting t-shirts)
Bottles, sterilizer & formula, If you choose not to breast feed
Pacifers/dummies-Optional of course, but good to have as it might initially stress you out when your baby is crying, pacifiers can help to soothe & calm baby.
Baby clothes & blankets
Magazines or a book, to keep you from getting bored as you will be in hospital for 3-5 days.
Taking baby home
Once you have your newborn baby at home, be prepared to be up all hours of the night, your baby will typically feed every 4 hours.
There might be times when your baby is crying and you don't know what is wrong. Try to remain calm when this happens, your baby is crying for a reason and you will need to figure out what the reason is. It be either because your baby is; hungry, tired, hot or cold, uncomfortable, having digestion/ stomach pains, or lonely and just wants some attention.
Things are going to be tough in the beginning, you are going to feel tired and exhausted a lot of the time, but it does get easier as your baby gets older. Try to always remain calm around your baby, he or she might sense when you are upset or stressed out which could upset your baby also. Regardless of who the baby's father is, your baby's happiness and well being should be your number 1 priority. This is essential in being a good mum.
Take all of the help and support that is offered to you, try to be happy, do light exercise and eat well. Don't forget that it WILL get easier, and having a child is the most rewarding thing that you will ever experience.