- Women's Health
*Expecting Mothers - The Basics of Pregnancy - What to eat and what to avoid*
Being pregnant is a joyful thought. It brings you happiness and lights up your world. Whether you are having twins or just one child there's always that time when you wonder what you should be doing? What you should eat? What to expect week by week...Well today are going to take a closer look into the life of an expecting mother and what it's like inside the womb.
Let's get started at the first week. At this point it's not very likely that you will know you are pregnant but soon it will break in and show. Your son or daughter , because yes, their sex is already decided this early, is growing faster now than at any other point in your pregnancy, and their brain, heart and spine are already forming. At this point one of the most important supplements to take is Folic Acid. This supplement is like a superhero, and the reason why this is so important during the first 12 weeks is because of the formation of the brain, spine and heart. Folic acid, which is also called folate, is a B vitamin. The best food sources of folic acid are fortified cereals. Folic acid plays an important role in the production of RBC (red blood cells) and helps your baby's neural tube develop into her brain and spinal cord, this prevents birth defects and protects the brain. Vitamin D is really important in pregnancy and for breastfeeding mothers too, as it regulates the calcium and phosphate in your body which keep your teeth and bones strong.
There are few physical changes at this point, you may be noticing internal changes. Digestive issues like gas, constipation and nausea (most common) may be cropping up. You also may be noticing more fatigue than usual, and mood swings with the changing hormones. Tender breasts and morning sickness may also begin during the first week, though most women won't notice those changes until after the second week of pregnancy.
Week 2 - The most important thing a woman can do during this stage is to change any negative habits she may have. Quitting bad habits (such as smoking, drinking, and drugs) is important to a healthy pregnancy, a healthy birth, and a healthy baby. Hopefully, if this is a planned pregnancy, you’ve already dropped some of these habits (or never had them) and begun taking prenatal vitamins. In the second trimester, you gain between 1 and 2 pounds per week, a big increase from the 1 to 4 extra pounds you gained in the entire first three months. All this weight isn't going straight to your baby; additional breast tissue, an increase in your fluid volume, amniotic fluid around the baby, placental growth, increased uterine muscle, and extra stores of fat and protein all contribute to the extra pounds. Most women feel wonderful in the second trimester.
During your 3rd week to around 12 weeks there are certain foods and a certain diet that should be followed in order to have a healthy baby.
- Fruits and vegetables. You can buy these fresh. Such would include, kale, spinach, mangos, oranges, apples, bananas and cucumbers. Aim for at least five portions each day.
- Starchy food. These include bread, pasta, rice and potatoes. Try to choose wholegrain.
- Foods rich in protein. These include lean meat and chicken, fish, eggs and pulses (such as beans and lentils). Try to aim for at least two portions of fish a week, including of oily fish.
- Dairy foods. These include milk, cheese and yoghurt, which contain calcium.
Use lunchtime to get in at least 2-3 servings of veggies and some protein, and make sure one of those is a leafy green (Kale or Spinach). Leafy greens are vital during pregnancy because of the high folic acid content, which is essential in helping baby to form properly. If it’s easier, make extra big portions of your healthy dinner and eat the leftovers for lunch. I understand that during pregnancy women crave a lot of food and they want everything, however there are certain foods that are not good to eat while pregnant.
- Undercooked Meat
- Fish that contains Mercury
- Raw Shellfish
- Unpasteurized dairy products
- Canned Food
- Sugar High Foods
- Fatty Foods
- Natural sugar
- Leftovers (for too long)
What to Expect When You're Expecting
Aroud 6 weeks and forward
Your baby has tripled in size and now has a regular heartbeat--and it's about twice as fast as the average adult heart rate! His or her brainwaves can also be recorded at six weeks. Your baby will now be covered by a thin layer of see-through skin, while all your baby's vital organs the kidneys, lungs and liver are now in place too, but they still have a lot of developing left to do. Getting lots of fresh air will also be of huge benefit to you and your baby as your pregnancy progresses our bodies can only produce vitamin D when exposed to sunlight, so try and get out and about in the sun as much as possible. Oh, and there's just over seven months left to go!
8 Weeks In - Your baby’s tiny little fingers and toes will have formed, though right now they are webbed and will continue to be so for several weeks, and their heart will be beating an amazing 160 beats a minute! SO AMAZING! Your baby’s lungs are developing this week, with the breathing tube extending from the throat to the lungs, while in their brain nerve cells are branching out and connecting to form primitive neutral pathways. Eight weeks in and although you won't have a visible bump yet, your womb is already be twice its normal size!
The healthy foods!
10 Weeks and Forward
Skipping forward to 10 weeks, it is most likely that their jawbones are beginning to form, and, amazingly, they contain their future milk teeth already, though they won’t break through the gums until your little one is around 6 months old. Your baby's little heart is now fully formed, and beating two to three times faster than yours. (That is still fast!) Around the 10 week stage your baby is also beginning to swallow fluid, produce digestive juices and kick their limbs - if you see your baby on an ultrasound scan at 10 weeks, they will be making jerky movements.
During 12 weeks your baby is now about three inches long and weighs about 1 ounce. Increased hormone activity means external sex organs should be appearing now or very soon. The fingers and toes aren’t webbed anymore, and fingernails are starting to develop. The eyes will move nearer to each other this week and the kidneys can start to produce urine. Around the 14 week period things can start to be very different from. There are certain recommendations that would be make a healthy life style for you and your baby.
What you need to know
- Having a supportive partner with you can make a real difference when you come to have your baby. Your birth partner doesn't have to be the dad-to-be. It could be your best friend, your own mother, or you could hire a specialist birth partner called a doula.
- Stay relaxed and fit during pregnancy with some simple yoga stretches. You may want to join a pregnancy yoga class, now that you're into your second trimester.
How To Bath Your Baby?
Week By Week..
13 Weeks - Your baby is now about 6.7cm long from crown to rump and weighs nearly 23g, about the same as a pea pod. Tiny fingerprints are now at the tips of her fingers. Your baby has sucking muscles in her cheeks, so when you poke your tummy gently she will feel it and start rooting.
16 weeks pregnant - Your baby is now some 10cm long from crown to rump, about the size of an avocado, and weighs about 100g. Your baby's head is more erect than it has been, and her/his eyes have moved closer to the front of her/his head. Her/His circulatory system and urinary tract are in full working order, and she's inhaling and exhaling amniotic fluid through her lungs.
20 Weeks Pregnant - Up until now your baby has been measured from crown to rump but from this point on the measurement will be from crown to heel and this week she/he is about 26cm long and is steadily gaining weight. Your baby needs to make red blood cells, among other things. In fact, it's almost impossible for you to get too much from food alone without overeating.
25 Weeks Pregnant - Right now your baby is about 35cm long from crown to heel. He/She beginning to exchange his long, lean look for some baby fat. As he/she does, his wrinkled skin will begin to smooth out and he'll/she'll start to look more like a newborn. His/Her senses are becoming more sophisticated, too. At 26 weeks, fetal brain scans show response to touch.
30 Weeks Pregnant - Her/His growth in terms of her length will soon slow down but she will continue to gain weight until she's/he's born. She/He probably weighs about 1.3kg. At this point it's so amazing, because your baby's lungs and digestive tract are almost fully developed. She/He continues to open and shut her/his eyes. She can probably see what's going on inside your uterus, tell light from dark and even track a light source. If you shine a light on your stomach, your baby may move her/his head to follow the light or even reach out to touch the moving glow.
34 Weeks Pregnant - The baby is filling out and getting rounder she’ll need her fat layers later to regulate her body temperature once she's born. One of the most important things to do at this stage is to talk to your baby, this is a good time to start at 34 weeks her hearing is fully developed. Don't feel ridiculous if you're already chatting in baby talk. Some evidence shows that newborns pay closer attention to high pitched tones and respond to the tone of the mother and father. Many women start to notice a tingling sensation or numbness in the pelvic region or pain as they walk. This may be caused by the pelvic joints loosening, ready for delivery.
She is getting a little heavier and may grow a bit more in length. The average baby is about 51cm long from head to toe and weighs about 3.4kg at birth. But if your baby is anywhere between 2.5kg and 3.8kg, that's a healthy weight. Before you deliver, there are certain procedures that must be done. During the first stage of labor, the cervix dilates from 0 to 10 centimeters (cm). This stage has an early, or latent, phase, an active phase, and a transitional phase. The latent phase usually lasts the longest and is the least intense phase of labor.
Up to this point, the woman may feels as if her participation is small, because all she has done is breathe. Active involvement can now begin along with some emotional relief that it is almost over. The baby's head is through the cervix and on its way down the birth canal. The uterine contractions get stronger, and the infant passes along the vagina helped by contractions of the uterus and the mother's pushing. If an epidural anesthetic is being used, many practitioners recommend decreasing the dosage so the mother has better control of her pushing. (Although to my research Epidurals are not so safe sometimes, due to the fact that it cause brain damage to the baby.)
When your baby is born, heart rate, grimace response, skin coloration, respiration, and muscle tone will be measured. This is called an Apgar score, most healthy babies score between 7 and 9 on a scale of 1 to 10. Don't worry perfect 10s are rare but then again if your baby scores in the 10s then you and the baby are in great shape. After birth your baby is given to you resting on your chest, this will calm then crying newborn and give a mother-to-baby connection. He/She will recognize your voice and will be able to stay calm.
If you had a baby congrats! If you are an expecting mother, well congrats to you also! During pregnancy it is not safe to smoke, drink or use any other drugs. Please make regular visits to your OBGYN for your follow-up appointments and visits.
Thanks & Congratulations, M