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Becoming Pregnant

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Starting a family is a wonderful experience and certain precautions can make the journey more enjoyable.  It is important to follow a healthy lifestyle even while planning and trying to conceive as the first three months are crucial for a baby’s growth and you may come to know of the pregnancy only when a period is missed.

The first signs of Pregnancy

  • Enlarged and tender breasts
  • A metallic taste in the mouth
  • A feeling of tiredness and/or feeling highly emotional  
  • Dizziness, Nausea and /or Vomiting
  • Increased vaginal discharge
  • Craving for unusual food and/or aversion to strong smells and certain things like smoking
  • Frequent urination

Confirming the Good News

Once some signs that indicate pregnancy are noticed, it is advisable to get it confirmed through:

  • Urine Test: The urine sample can be tested in a lab as in pregnancy, a hormone appears in the urine.
  • Home Pregnancy Kits : You can get a home pregnancy kit at the pharmacy. Always use the first urine sample of the day and follow the instructions on the package. The kit contains a chemical solution through which when urine is passed and the color changes only when pregnant. Though they are fairly accurate, a lab diagnosis is more accurate.
  • Physical Examination: After two missed periods, the doctor may do a vaginal examination to confirm the pregnancy.

Calculating the EDD (Estimated Delivery Date )

It is normal to start thinking of the due date for the delivery. Keep in mind that these calculations are estimates and based on averages.

EDD = LMP + 280 DAYS ( LMP = last period ).

A normal pregnancy can last between 38 to 42 weeks, though on an average it lasts 40 weeks. One is most likely to conceive during the ovulation stage, which is about 14 days before the next period is due.

Things to Avoid

The baby’s organs are formed during the first trimester, so one has to be very careful during this time. If you want a healthy baby, you should definitely avoid the following:

  • Medications without prescriptions: We often take medicines for common complaints but many of these drugs may harm the baby. When one discovers one is pregnant, one should inform the doctor immediately, who may either alter the medicine or reduce the dosage.
  • Smoking : Both active and passive smoking is very harmful for the growing baby. It deprives the foetus of oxygen and may lead to a number of complications like malformation, miscarriage, still birth, pre mature delivery, or low birth weight baby’s.  Avoid smoky places and give up smoking for the sake of a new life.
  • Alcohol: If the mother is a heavy drinker, the baby can be seriously harmed. There are no safe levels of drinking so it’s best to completely abstain from alcohol during this period. Talk to your gynecologist and take her advice regarding your concerns.
  • Poor Hygiene: Raw meat, soil particles and pet feces contain parasites which may cause serious harm to the baby. Wash your hands thoroughly especially before eating anything and be very careful about the hygiene when eating out.

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